Lawyers of 5 in Dacera case mull countercharge vs flight attendant’s mom, others
MANILA, Philippines—Lawyers of five respondents in a criminal complaint in relation to the death of 23-year-old flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera are studying the filing of countersuits against several persons, including Dacera’s mom Sharon, who have allegedly maligned the five in public.
Lawyer Mike Santiago on Monday (March 15) insisted on the innocence of his clients—Gregorio Angelo Rafael de Guzman, Rommel Galido, Jezreel Rapinan, Valentine Rosales and John Pascual dela Serna.
Santiago said the five actually felt vindicated by the complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Even then, he described the complaint as “ridiculous.”
“We are awaiting a copy of the complaint affidavit because we will also file counter charges against those people who were also concocting lies one after the other,” Santiago said at a press conference in Las Pinas City.
“We are also preparing counter charges against the Dacera family for malicious prosecution, incriminating innocent persons, and perjury,” Santiago said.
“They want to make it appear there was rape with homicide yet the NBI already categorically stated no rape occurred and that there was no homicide or accidental killing,” he said.
“They want to force the issue that there is rape with homicide so we will file counter charges against them,” Santiago said.
According to the lawyer, cases would be levelled against Sharon Dacera, who has been “very insistent that her daughter was raped.”
Santiago said even policemen involved in the case would be sued after they had been identified. “We’ll decide on who to include after we get a copy of the charges,” he said.
“My clients have suffered so much. That’s why they are going after their persecutors for moral damages,” said Santiago.
“They’ve lost their sources of livelihood. They’ve had sleepless nights. It’s been stressful, distressful for them,” he added.
But he said the NBI complaint “vindicates our clients because the NBI themselves already stated there was no rape much more homicide or intentional killing.”
He said the NBI was grasping at straws in filing a complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide against several persons for simply being Dacera’s drinking buddies.
“There should be no expectations that they would babysit each other because these people were also intoxicated,” Santiago said.
“It’s funny,” he said. He added that “we normally hear” about similar cases in vehicular accidents. “We haven’t encountered a case like this where drinking buddies are sued over the death of a drinking buddy,” Santiago said.
“They were simply having fun and were not expected legally or morally to care for their drinking buddies,” he said.
He said the complaint for obstruction of justice and falsification of public documents filed against a lawyer and forensic examiner involved in the case would have a chilling effect on the legal profession and forensic experts who were just doing their jobs.
The NBI last week filed a slew of criminal charges at the DOJ against 11 persons, including Santiago’s clients, lawyer Neptali Maroto and Maj. Michael Nick Sarmiento, Southern Police District medico-legal officer.
Dacera was declared dead in a hospital after she was found unconscious and unresponsive in a hotel room where she had celebrated New Year’s Eve with friends.
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