De Lima deplores barbaric killing of student in Cebu


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has condemned in the strongest sense the barbaric killing of a 16-year-old student whose face was skinned to the bone by three still-unidentified suspects in Lapu Lapu City, Cebu last March 11.

De Lima, a known human rights defender, said this brutal crime calls for thorough and immediate investigation by police authorities not only to give justice to the victim but also to prevent a repeat of the same offense.

“This is killing in one of its worst forms. Appalling and shocking! Walang konsensya ang gumawa ng ganitong karumal-dumal at kalunos-lunos na krimen. Wala silang respeto sa buhay, walang pakundangan sa dignidad ng tao! Gawa ng demonyo!,” she said in a statement from detention.

“Our police authorities should not rest while her killers remain scot-free. Kung hindi natin seseryosohin ang pagresolba sa kasong tulad nito, mauulit at mauulit lang ang pagpaslang sa mga batang kagaya ni Cristine – na pinagkaitang mabuhay at makasama pa ang mga mahal nila sa buhay,” she added.

Based on news accounts, the victim, a 16-year-old student of Datag Maribago High School identified as Cristine Lee Salawan, was found dead in Bgy. Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City in the morning of March 11.

She was found naked from the waist down with her face skinned to the bone. While Salawan’s face had reportedly been disfigured, her mother recognized her through the red shirt she was wearing a day before she went missing last March 10.

Salawan was last seen after serving as lector during the afternoon Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City.

Cebu City police director Senior Supt. Limuel Obon confirmed that a lone witness named Donna (not her real name) claimed that she saw three men rape Salawan before killing her, which supported the police’s initial finding that the victim was raped.

The lady Senator from Bicol said the gruesome death of Salawan should remind Mr. Duterte that his public and blatant encouragement of killings place the Filipino people’s lives in great peril.

“Ilang inosenteng buhay pa ba ang masasayang bago matauhan si Mr. Duterte na kailangan na niyang tigilan ang paghihikayat at pagpapauso sa mga patayan sa ating bayan?” she asked.

“This heartless regime has given people the license to kill, and this madness has to stop now. Unfortunately, life has become so cheap in our country that some people do not have qualms anymore to threaten and harm others,” she added.

Amid the incessant killings in the country, De Lima noted that it has now become “extremely urgent” for the Filipino public to collectively express their outrage over the recent killings in the country and tirelessly demand for accountability.

“As we remember Cristine and all the other victims of killings under this regime, let us also remember the need to stand up and protect human rights and morality in our nation,” she said. Despite her continued unjust detention over false and bizarre drug charges, De Lima has unfailingly called out the murderous policies of the Duterte administration that resulted in the death of innocent children and students, among others.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
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