Mother still suspects foul play in Christine Dacera’s death
MANILA, Philippines — The mother of flight attendant Christine Dacera insists there is foul play in the death of her daughter, claiming her friends who were at the New Year’s Eve party that went awry could have done more to save her.
Sharon Dacera pointed a finger at Christine’s friends, particularly Rommel Galido, for not taking care of her daughter even after saying her drink might have been spiked with something.
Galido, a fellow flight attendant, was among the 11 respondents in the rape with homicide complaint filed by the police.
“Yes, [he had some lapses.] If he knew that my daughter was feeling sick already, then he should have called the clinic of the hotel. They had one, didn’t they?” Sharon said in a televised interview on Tuesday.
Around 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, at the height of their party, Galido said Christine leaned on his shoulder and told him her head hurt and someone might have put something on her drink.
Asked who it was, she said it was “Mark,” identified by her friends as Mark Anthony Rosales, who has yet to surface.
In a press briefing last week, Galido admitted he dismissed what Christine had said and went back to sleep.
“I hope Rommel just speaks the truth if Christine is really his true friend and little sister … they were the only ones with her that night,” Sharon said.
Christine, 23, was found unconscious in the bathtub in Room 2209 of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City past noon on Jan. 1. She was pronounced dead at Makati Medical Center.
Of the 11 people who were considered suspects, only six had surfaced. All six claimed innocence. They were Galido, John Pascual de la Serna III, John Paul Halili, Gregorio Angelo de Guzman, Clark Rapinan and Valentine Rosales. The other suspects—Mark Anthony Rosales, Rey Ingles, Louie de Lima, Jammy Cunanan and Eduard Madrid—have been communicating through their lawyers.
A hearing for the preliminary investigation of the case is set on Wednesday at the Makati prosecutor’s office to determine if there is sufficient ground for the rape with homicide case to be held for trial in court.
Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is expected to release this week its decision on the investigation of City Garden Grand Hotel, where Dacera was found dead.
“I was hoping to give the decision today but we’re still finalizing it. This week we will be giving the final decision,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in an online press conference on Tuesday.
“But rest assured, the DOT will do what is fair and just,” she said.
The DOT earlier issued a show-cause order to the hotel, ordering it to explain why its accreditation should not be suspended or revoked for apparently violating accommodation protocols.
Woodrow Maquiling Jr., the DOT regional director, ordered hotel general manager Richard Reazon to explain why the hotel continued to accept guests for leisure purposes when it was being used as a quarantine for migrant workers.
The Commission on Human Rights on Tuesday expressed serious alarm at the victim-blaming and gender-stereotyping against those involved in the death of Dacera, whose case prompted overdue questions about the police’s investigating skills.
At the same time, the commission’s gender ombudsman, Karen Gomez-Dumpit, said the accusations hurled against the 11 suspects, some of whom were gay and bisexual men, would have been avoided had the PNP only conducted a proper, thorough investigation before accusing them of rape-homicide.
“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,” Dumpit said.
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