CEBU CITY— The alleged suspect in the brutal killing of 16-year-old girl Christine Lee Silawan pleaded not guilty to the crime of murder.
Renato Llenes made this plea before his court hearing this morning at the Regional Trial Court Branch 70 in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
In an interview after the hearing, his lawyer Manuel Degollacion Jr. clarified that his client wanted the charges against him to be downgraded to homicide.
“That’s the only time that he will plead guilty,” Degollacion told reporters.
“The strategy is to make sure that the sentence to be imposed is lower degree. That’sthe duty of the lawyer,” Degollacion added.
However, they clarified that this does not mean that Llenes is already retracting his previous admission that he killed Silawan and removed the skin from her face.
Llenes was arraigned yesterday before the sala of Judge Christine Muga-Aba. Murder carries a penalty of 20 to 40 years imprisonment.
Homicide carries a penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
Unlike murder, homicide is a bailable offense.