FACT CHECK: No, this man is not the suspect in the Cebu rape-slay case

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 21 2019 05:27 PM

Images shared more than 10,000 times on Facebook claim to show a man arrested for killing and mutilating a 16-year-old girl in the Philippines. 

The claim is false; a reverse image search shows the man was arrested in a separate rape case.

Multiple posts, for example this one, which has been shared more than 8,000 times since it was published on March 14, 2019, contain images of a handcuffed man wearing a yellow shirt.

The caption on the posts, translated into English, says:
“Finally this one has been caught! This is the one who raped the teenager then he even skinned her! You should be subjected to pain and suffering too until your last breath! There's no forgiveness for what you've done! #YesForDeathPenalty ctto”

The posts, also seen elsewhere on Facebook with thousands of shares here and here, include several pictures of the man and one of a girl, which is overlaid with text saying in English: “Justice for Christine Silawan 16 years old rape victim.”

Below is a screenshot of one of the posts:

A reverse image search of the girl's picture led to news reports by international media organisations including Gulf News and Mail Online about Christine Silawan, a teenager who was killed and mutilated in March in the southern Philippine city of Lapu-Lapu.

The Gulf News report, dated March 12, 2019, contains two photographs of Silawan, showing the same young girl as in the misleading image:

A reverse image search of the photographs of the man found that they were used in this Philippine-language news report, dated February 27, 2019 – a week and a half before Silawan died on March 10.

The report, on the website of broadcaster Radyo Inquirer, is about the arrest of a suspect in the alleged rape and attempted murder of a nine-year-old girl in Cainta, a town near the capital Manila.

Cainta is around 570km (350 miles) away from Lapu-Lapu.

Below is a screenshot of the Radyo Inquirer report:

The photograph in the Radyo Inquirer article is credited to “Cainta Mayor Kit Nieto.”

Johnielle Keith “Kit” Pasion Nieto is the currently serving mayor of Cainta, according to the town’s government website here.

Nieto has a Facebook profile here which has more than 180,000 followers and where he often posts pictures relating to local affairs.

The Facebook post embedded below, published by Nieto on February 27, 2019, also contains some of the same photos of the suspect used in the misleading post:


Below is a comparison of screenshots of two of the photos in Nieto’s February 27 Facebook post (L) and screenshots from the misleading Facebook post (R):

One of the photos of the man in the misleading Facebook posts is not included in Nieto’s post.
In that image, the man is looking towards the camera with his hands clasped and another person’s hand holding some of his hair in a fist.

It shows the man wearing the same yellow shirt. The words “CAINTA” and “DETAINEE” can be seen printed on it, as highlighted below: