Man arrested in Davao not involved in the gruesome Christine Lee Silawan murder

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DAVAO CITY (March 17) — Jonas Martel Bueno, the man arrested at Matina Crossing last Friday, March 15, was not involved in the gruesome death of 16-year-old Christine Lee Silawan on March 10.

A highly placed source said during the investigation, Bueno admitted his participation in the killing of 62-year-old farmer he identified as “Trening” or Trinidad Batucan in Danao City but confessed innocence in the Silawan murder.

Based on the narrative of the case, “When Silawan was murdered, Bueno was already in Davao City, working in a construction,” the source added.

On Friday at about 5:00 in the afternoon, Bueno was arrested by the joint elements of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Davao and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) while working in a construction along Matina Crossing, he did not resist arrest.

Bueno was arrested based on the warrant of arrest in the killing a certain Lumen which happened in Cebu City on September 2017.

“Nang dumating kami, nakatingin lang sya, nong nilapitan para arestuhan, parang natulala sya, sumama naman at sa sasakyan pa lang sinabi na nya na wala syang alam sa murder doon sa Cebu kasi matagal na syang umalis kasama ang dalawang anak, ages 4 and one-year-old at yong partner na si Connie Nacion,’ the source added.

Bueno however, admitted he and his brothers Junry and Jovy killed the 62-year-old farmer Trinidad Batucan in Danao City, Cebu, last January 11, 2019. His brothers were killed in a police operation on January 13.

When asked why can Bueno participate in the Batucan murder when claimed he already arrived in Agusan del Norte in September? the source revealed “Posibling nag instigate sya or isa sya sa nag-plano, of which puede namang wala sya doon pero may participation sya, kasi yang magkakapatid,nagkakampihan.”

The source said “We are connecting the dots about the way Batucan and Silawan were killed, but we can say is -itong si Jonas is not connected in the Silawan case.”

Bueno told investigators, he went into hiding when his warrant of arrest in relation to the killing of Lumen was out, and sometime September 2018, he went to Buenavista, Agusan del Norte together with his two kids and partner Connie Nacion, tried farming but failed. On the third week of February this year, they left Agusan del Norte and rented a house in Purok Santiago, Matina Crossing.

He started working as construction worker as one Jason Mortil, until Friday afternoon, when he was arrested.

The owner of the house said Bueno and his family started to rent in his house about two weeks ago.

Central Visayas Police Director Debold Sinas said Bueno is not a suspect in the Silawan case.

Sinas told reporters in Cebu they have had no evidence linking Bueno to Silawan’s case.

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Chief Supt. Marcelo C. Morales, Police Regional Office 11 director, said in a press briefing Friday night that the suspect, a resident of Sitio Tubigon, Barangay Santikan, Danao City, Cebu, admitted that he, along with his two brothers, was involved in the killing of Trinidad “Trening” Batucan, 62, but the suspect maintained that he was not involved in Silawan’s death.”

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, Davao City head of the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), earlier said the joint operation was conducted around 5 p.m. Friday at the house in Purok Santiago, Barangay Matina Crossing, this city after receiving reports from concerned citizens on the presence of a suspicious man who resembled the alleged “person of interest” linked to the death of Silawan.

Yesterday, the NBI allowed Nacion to go home to attend to her children, but Bueno is still detained at the office of the NBI XI here while awaiting the Police Regional Office VII to bring him to Cebu City to face charges.

On Thursday, March 15, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra has formally tasked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate Silawan’s murder.

In Department Order No. 117, NBI Director Dante Gierran was directed and granted authority to conduct an investigation and case build up and file appropriate charges against persons responsible.

Gierran was also directed to submit reports on the investigation to Guevarra.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday also ordered a manhunt for the killers of Silawan.-Editha Z. Caduaya/

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