CHR: Thorough probe on Dacera case would have prevented victim-blaming
MANILA, Philippines — A thorough investigation by state authorities on the case regarding the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera would have prevented the victim-blaming and gender stereotyping against the alleged perpetrators of the crime, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Tuesday.
In a statement on Tuesday, CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit also said that the commission was “deeply concerned and alarmed” by the victim-blaming and gender stereotyping that has happened amid the investigation.
“These acts disrespect the victim and cause further anguish to her family. Similarly, the alleged perpetrators who are members of the LGBTQI+ community are negatively affected,” Gomez-Dumpit said.
The CHR also slammed the statement of the Makati City police chief Col. Harold Depositar, where he previously said: “Kahit bakla yan, may instinct yan… Lalo na if under the influence of intoxicating alcohol (Even if they are gay, they have an instinct, especially if they are under the influence of alcohol.)
“This normalizes predatory sexual behavior of men, dismisses diversity of sexual orientation, and digresses from the task of properly inquiring into a case of gender-based violence,” the CHR commissioner said.
“Statements like this, especially if they come from State authorities, show utter lack of sensitivity and understanding on issues pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity,” she added.
“While it is true that the crime of rape can be committed regardless of the sexual orientation of the perpetrator, in this particular case, the premature announcement of rape and murder is simply irresponsible and reckless.”
“A thorough investigation of the case before coming out on media would have prevented all of these. If rape was indeed committed, then the same must be addressed and justice must be served,” Gomez-Dumpit said.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas previously ordered an internal inquiry into possible lapses committed by the Makati City police in handling the case of the 23-year-old flight attendant, who was found lifeless in a dry bathtub in a Makati hotel.
Police claimed that she was raped and killed. This allegation, however, was deemed unsupported by evidence by Makati City prosecutors, which later led to the release of three men being held for Dacera’s death.
“If the initial report did not jump into a hasty conclusion that it was a ‘rape-slay case,’ the otherwise private lives of the victim and the alleged perpetrators would not have been thrust to the limelight,” Gomez-Dumpit said.
“There would have been no need to talk about Christine’s actions,” she added.
The CHR commissioner also reminded that true justice “rests on the respect of all persons involved in the incident.”
“Justice will never be delivered without due process and the rule of law,” she added.
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