PNP details Christine Silawan murder, says 'case solved'

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Cebu City (CNN Philippines, April 11) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said the murder case of 16-year-old Cebu student Christine Lee Silawan has been solved with the arrest of her killer.

Police General Oscar Albayalde saw face-to-face 43-year-old suspect Renato "Renren" Payupan Llenes in Cebu City. The PNP chief said the suspect voluntarily admitted his crime through an extra-judicial confession because he was "haunted by his conscience." He added the suspect detailed his motive and method of how he gruesomely killed the Cebuana teenager.

He said Llenes used a fake Facebook account to lure Silawan, posing as a young teenage boy. The two kept in contact. When it was time to meet up for the first time on March 10 at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish church grounds, he posed as the driver of her supposed Facebook chat mate to get Silawan to go with him.

Albayalde said the suspect said he killed Silawan by stabbing her multiple times with scissors, driven by a fit of jealousy. He added Llanes skinned the Cebuana teen's face with the knowledge he gained through YouTube tutorials; he did so to avoid anyone identifying the victim who was found in a vacant lot in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu on March 11.

"Gidunggab nako siya sa gunting dayon akong gihiwa iyang nawng para dili mailhan [Translation: I stabbed her with a pair of scissors and peeled of her skin so she won't be recognized]," Llenes said. 

Albayalde also said Llanes attempted to rape Silawan, which was why she was found naked from waist down. After peeling off her face, Llenes took the victim's bag and carried the skin and walked away from the crime scene.

Albayalde said Llenes was under the influence of illegal drugs, which the suspect admitted.

Albayalde said they have retrieved evidences linking Llanes to the crime, such as the bloodied scissors and his shirts with drops of blood. Police have sent the evidence to the crime laboratory to confirm Llenes' confession.

"We can say it's solved kapag na-file na (ang kaso). DNA will boost it. We can probably say this case is solved, but never closed. Sa CCTV (closed-circuit television) lumalabas talaga na siya lang ang kasama ni Christine," he said in a media briefing.

The suspect was about to leave for Bohol to evade arrest, but he was collared at his home on Tuesday. Albayalde said the arrest was made possible through surveillance.

"This is an intelligence-driven operation. There were surveillance made. We checked on the Facebook account of the victim," he said.

Albayalde said their case is separate from that pursued by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Central Visayas. The NBI is looking at the possible involvement of Silawan's former boyfriend.