NCRPO chief: Makati police deny coercing Dacera case respondents on drug claims
MANILA, Philippines — The chief of the Makati City police has denied claims they pressured respondents in the Christine Dacera case to say illegal drugs were used during the New Year’s Eve party that they attended at a Makati City hotel, Metro Manila police chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said Thursday.
“Well, as per information coming from the chief of police ng Makati eh wala naman ganun nangyari,” Danao told reporters in an interview.
Lawyer Abigail Portugal, counsel for JP de la Serna III and Rommel Galido, two of the respondents in the Dacera case, said the drug use claim came from the “mouths of the Makati police.”
According to the lawyer, Dela Serna and Galido were pressured by the police to state in their affidavits that there were drugs in the party at Room 2209 of City Garden Grand Hotel, hours before Dacera was found unconscious in a bathtub.
The 23-year-old flight attendant was pronounced dead by doctors at Makati Medical Center (MMC).
Danao, however, questioned the respondents’ sudden change of tune and noted that they may be charged with perjury.
“Bakit ngayon biglang nagkaroon ng bugbugan,” Danao said.
“Pero as far as the Makati City Police Station is concerned, per information coming from the chief of (city) police himself, there is no such thing as bugbugan, coercion or anything about drugs na kinoerce sa kanila na ibigay na salaysay.”
He added: “Puwede silang file-an ng perjury kasi under oath iyon na sinabi nila.”
Police filed a complaint of rape with homicide against De la Serna, Galido, and nine other people before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office on Jan. 4, and declared the case “solved.”
Two days later, however, prosecutors found the evidence “insufficient” and ordered the release of De la Serna, Galido, and another arrested respondent, John Paul Halili. Preliminary investigation hearings on the case were set.
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