Updated Mar 15, 2019, 7:05:40 PM
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — The Justice Department on Friday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe and case build-up on the controversial murder of a 16-year-old student in Lapu, Lapu, Cebu.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra issued the directive through Department Order No. 117.
The victim, who sustained numerous stab wounds to her neck and body, was found in a vacant lot Monday with her skull exposed and without undergarments.
Initial medico-legal report bared the victim, who was identified as Christine Silawan, was also missing a number of body organs including the neck, trachea, esophagus, and tongue.
Authorities added the victim may have been dead for 12 hours when they found her on the scene.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday meanwhile refused to give details on the identity of the suspect as the manhunt operation is still on-going.
A name and photo of the alleged suspect in the brutal killing surfaced online Thursday night, but the PNP refused to confirm the development.
Lapu-Lapu City Police Chief Senior Supt. Limuel Obon said reports identifying the suspect were "fake news." The victim's mother was also not convinced that the man in the viral photo is the suspect of the killing.
The bounty for the murder has hit ₱2 million, PNP also confirmed.
CNN Philippines Correspondents Anjo Alimario and Gerg Cahiles, and Cebu-based stringer Dale Israel contributed to this report.