PNP probes mishandling of Dacera case by police
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, on Monday ordered an internal inquiry into possible lapses committed by the Makati police in its handling of the case of 23-year-old flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera.
“I have directed the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) to conduct a separate inquiry and recommend to us, not later than Jan. 13, their findings on any liability of Makati City police officers involved in the ongoing investigation of the Dacera case,” Sinas told a press briefing at Camp Crame.
Asked if investigators had mishandled the probe, Sinas had no comment. He said he had not received a formal complaint against the PNP Crime Laboratory medicolegal officer, Police Maj. Michael Nick Sarmiento, or the Makati police chief, Police Col. Harold Depositar.
“However, we are investigating. We are conducting an internal inquiry by the PNP-DIDM. Whatever the recommendation of the DIDM, we will evaluate and the regional director of the National Capital Region Police Office and I will talk and compare notes,” Sinas added.
The Makati City prosecutor’s office will open the preliminary investigation of the rape with homicide complaint filed against at least 11 respondents in the case on Jan. 13.
The National Bureau of Investigation has “invited” for questioning the people staying in the room next to the one where Dacera was found dead in the bathtub in a hotel in Makati after celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who had ordered the NBI to conduct a separate probe, said on Monday that the person who had rented and paid for Room 2207 at City Garden Grand Hotel had been identified.
Dacera, who was declared dead on arrival at Makati Medical Center, had stayed in Room 2209.
The police claimed that she was raped and killed, an allegation that Makati City prosecutors deemed unsupported by evidence, prompting them to release the three men being held for her death.
“The NBI knows the name of the person who registered at the reception and the faces/names of the other persons in Room 2207,” Guevarra said.
—With a report from Marlon Ramos
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