The alleged suspect in the brutal killing of 16-year-old girl Christine Lee Silawan pleaded not guilty to murder.
Renato Llenes made this plea at his court hearing 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 of a lower degree. That’s the duty of the lawyer,” Degollacion explained.
However, they clarified that this does not mean Llenes is already retracting his previous admission that he killed Silawan.
Llenes was arraigned before the sala of Judge Christine Muga-Aba. Murder carries a penalty of 20 to 40 years of imprisonment.
Homicide carries a penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
Unlike murder, homicide is a bailable offense.