PROSECUTOR General Benedicto Malcontento yesterday clarified that the complaint filed in connection with the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera has not yet been dismissed.
“They (suspects) are not yet off the hook. Hindi namin dini-dismiss ang kaso, in fact, nilagay lang namin sa full-blown preliminary investigation ito para lahat ng ebidensiya pumasok from both parties,” he said.
Last Wednesday, the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office ordered the release from detention of three persons implicated in the death of Dacera after it resolved to conduct a formal preliminary investigation into the controversial case.
The hearing for the preliminary investigation was set on January 13, 2021 at 10:00 A.M.
Ordered released were John Pascual Dela Serna III, Rommel Galido y Daluro, and John Paul Halili y Reyes.
“After a thorough evaluation of the facts and evidence presented during inquest proceedings, the Office of the City Prosecutor, Makati City resolved to refer the case for further investigation, and to release the arrested persons, namely: John Pascual Dela Serna III, Rommel Galido y Daluro, and John Paul Halili y Reyes, from detention.. ” the resolution read in part.
Also, Malcontento assured the family of Dacera that justice will be served swiftly, while the respondents will be given due process.
” I am assuring the family that this will be fast, justice will be delivered. For the respondents, we will give them rights under the law, give them chance to tell their stories regarding this matter,” Malcontento said.
Dacera was found unconscious in the bathtub of her hotel room in Makati City on New Year’s Day following a party with friends the night before.
Hotel personnel tried to revive her before she was rushed to a hospital where she was declared dead.
Three suspects were arrested and were provisionally charged with the crime of rape with homicide before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office.
Meanwhile, the results of a toxicology analysis on the body of flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera would help in determining the circumstances of her death, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said on Thursday.
In a radio interview, NCRPO chief, Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said they are looking into alcohol intoxication as among possible angles in the case.
“It could be a cause — heavy drinking coupled with illegal drugs. Puwedeng maging party drug kasi sa nakita namin, it is a rave party yung nangyari. Talagang magkakaroon ng aneurysm, yun ang sabi ng ibang mga doktor na kilala ko. That would be one of the causes, heavy drinking coupled with drugs, especially party drugs. A rupture of the blood vessels is possible,” he added.
This came as initial autopsy findings showed that the victim died of “ruptured aortic aneurysm” which the victim’s family rejected, prompting them to seek another autopsy.
Danao also admitted that he was not convinced of the sufficiency of the pieces of evidence initially gathered by the Makati police on Dacera’s case.
He added that it is likely that the police officers were so eager to file the case that they have overlooked raw evidence.
“So nonetheless, that should not be a reason for us to stop the investigation because it is important to know what could have been the cause of her death,” he said.
On Wednesday night, the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office ordered the release of three arrested suspects and said further investigation is needed.
Police officers were also ordered to submit a DNA analysis report, toxicology/chemical analysis, and a histopathology examination report as additional pieces of evidence.
The hearing for the preliminary investigation of the case was set for Jan. 13. With Philippine News Agency