Reopen Dacera case, police ask
The lawyers of five of 11 respondents in the death of 23-year-old flight attendant Christine Dacera were questioning the motive behind the belated move of the Philippine National Police to reopen the case, weeks after the Makati City prosecutor’s office closed the investigation.
At a press briefing on Thursday, Mike Santiago, counsel of Rommel Galido, Valentine Rosales, John Pascual de la Serna, Clark Rapinan and Gregorio Angelo Rafael de Guzman assailed the “doubtful” and “worrying” move of the Makati police that would delay the resolution of the rape with homicide complaint.
The prosecutor conducted the fifth and last preliminary investigation hearing on the complaint on Feb. 17, and deemed it submitted for resolution.
According to Santiago, they received on Wednesday a copy of the motion of the Makati police to reopen the case and admit additional evidence that would prove that Dacera was raped and drugged before she died after their Jan. 1 party—a turnaround from the previous evidence submitted by the PNP itself.
The motion of the Makati police submitted to the prosecutor on March 1 attached a toxicology report and semen analysis on specimens found by investigators at the crime scene.
The “immunological testing” conducted by the PNP-Crime Laboratory Office (CLO) found semen on three beddings from the hotel rooms.
It was conducted by Police Maj. Herbert Tunac, forensic serologist of PNP-CLO. The test was completed on Feb. 9, but was only received by the PNP-CLO’s legal division only on Feb. 18.The toxicology analysis on two cotton swabs from Room 2209 of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City found they were positive for 4-fluoromethamphetamine and methamphetamine—stimulants which are illegal under the Comprehensive and Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The examination was done by Police Maj. Hernand Donado, forensic chemist of PNP-CLO. It was completed as early as Feb. 11, but was only submitted on Feb. 20.
Old, rehashed evidence
“Now that everybody is waiting for the prosecutor’s office to release the resolution, all of a sudden, they want the investigation to be reopened? What is the purpose of their delaying? This raises a lot of questions on our minds,” Santiago said.
“The evidence the police are requesting to submit are not even newly discovered. They knew all along that there were results, but they chose not to divulge. These were just old and rehashed evidence,” he added.
He was also questioning the release of the toxicology report, when the PNP had requested on Jan. 21 the University of the Philippines Manila’s UP Drug of Abuse Research Laboratory to conduct the toxicology, as the PNP-CLO is not equipped with a quadruple time of flight mass spectrometer.
“And yet the PNP was able to come up with this [toxicology report]. They are contradicting themselves,” Santiago said, claiming the additional evidence were “already misleading the prosecutors.”
The lawyers were confident the new pieces of evidence were already “inconsequential” on the complaint.
“These have no bearing. Whether there’s drug, it doesn’t affect the [rape with homicide] case,” Santiago noted. “The PNP itself earlier submitted evidences which already determined the cause of death was natural, and homicide and rape were ruled out.”
Both the PNP-CLO’s histopathology exam and the Southern Police District-CLO’s autopsy conducted on Dacera found she died of ruptured aortic aneurysm.
A DNA examination of the PNP-CLO also did not find any other DNA on Dacera’s underwear except hers.
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