Hotel manager's positive drug test does not mean she died of overdose - lawyer | Inquirer News

Hotel manager’s positive drug test does not mean she died of overdose – lawyer

/ 10:29 PM March 29, 2016

MANILA — Edgel Joy Durolfo tested positive for amphetamine, a “dangerous drug” and a possible component of ecstasy, but her family’s lawyer said this did not mean she died of a drug overdose as claimed by the four people implicated in her death.

Angelo Niño Santos, who spoke to reporters after Tuesday’s hearing at the Parañaque Prosecutors Office, said the results of the toxicology analysis done by the Southern Police District Crime Laboratory only proved tthat Durolfo and her companions — Rodney Ynchausti, Molo Hwang, Josiebell Uy and Paul Egoc — took ecstasy pills during a gathering at a Solaire Resort and Casino room on Feb. 25, hours before the 26-year-old assistant manager passed away at the San Juan de Dios hospital in Pasay.

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“(The toxicology report) only shows (Durolfo) is positive for amphetamine, a dangerous drug … Assuming, let’s work on the theory they all took ecstasy. (The results on her will really turn out) positive,” Santos said.

Copies of the toxicology report were given to reporters by the Durolfo camp prior to the proceedings.

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The one-page report prepared by Senior Insp. Rendielyn Sahagun, forensic chemist at the SPD Crime Lab, said that the positive results came from an analysis of 23.5 milliliters of blood sample, and 5.2 milliliters of urine sample from Durolfo.

It said a screening test done on 12.3 milliliters of her stomach content turned out negative on the presence of “dangerous drugs.”

The report was approved by Chief Insp. May Andrea Bonifacio, officer in charge of the chemistry section of the district Crime Lab, and noted by Supt. Bonnie Chua, SPD Crime Lab chief.

Santos said the autopsy report initially released by the police already showed that the cause of Durolfo’s death was (asphyxia due to) manual strangulation, the same cause listed in the death certificate issued by the hospital.

While he said the suspects’ lawyers were “free to contest” such results, these were “conclusive.”

“There are two institutions which already concluded that that is the cause of death,” he said, noting that none of the suspects could explain why Durolfo had “bruises, bite marks and beatings.”

He said the defense “only offered denials” which was a “weak defense.”

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“Something really happened inside which they refused to disclose…Yes definitely (they are trying to hide something). And they are all in cahoots in this,” Santos said.

Ynchausti’s lawyer, who spoke to reporters also after the proceedings, denied, however, that his client—or any one of the other suspects—had committed any foul play.

“Even all the witnesses will attest to that. They may be guilty of something but it’s not murder. Definitely not murder,” Pelagio Lawrence Cuison said.

He said his client “doesn’t understand also why the (autopsy) report came out with strangulation because he really didn’t strangle his fiancée.”

“And no one actually did. We don’t understand also the medicolegal. We intend to address that in the counteraffidavit,” he said.

Asked when they would file a counteraffidavit,  he said there was “no schedule yet,” adding there was “no need” for his client to appear at the prosecutors office just yet.

“But of course he has to personally submit, swear to the fiscal for his counteraffidavit,” he said.

Ynchausti remains in the country and “intends to face all charges” against him, according to Cuison.

Asked why he never issued a statement to the police, Cuison said there was “no formal invitation” sent by the police to his client’s house.

“He already gave the statement (to Solaire)… And I think the investigation also took a long time. And when we were engaged already, since there were indications already they would file (against Ynchausti), we advised him to just wait for the opportunity at the office of the prosecutor,” Cuison said.

“He felt the loss because that was (his) fiancée. He loves her very much….

He was willing to face media from the start but we advised him not to … maybe later on once we submit the counteraffidavit. It’s because we’re feeling prejudgment,” he added.

According to Santos, all parties agreed to reset Tuesday’s hearing to April 5 after neither of them secured copies of the footage from the closed-circuit television camera at the hotel.

He said in the March 22 hearing, their camp filed a request for subpoena of such copies from Solaire with the prosecutors office, “but unfortunately, the request has not been served.”

Durolfo passed away in the hospital on Feb. 26.

Hours before, Ynchausti, Hwang, Egoc and Uy claimed they had a drug-fuelled party at a Solaire hotel room booked by Durolfo.

They said they rushed Durolfo to the hotel clinic—and later to the hospital–after she suffered seizures.

They said this was after she bumped against a cabinet in the room. SFM

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TAGS: Angelo Niño Santos, Bonnie Chua, Chief Insp. May Andrea Bonifacio, Crime, crime suspects, crime victim, drug overdose, Edgel Joy Durolfo, Josiebell Uy, Justice, law, May Andrea Bonifacio, Metro, Molo Hwang, Murder, Nation, News, Parañaque Prosecutors Office, Paul Egoc, Pelagio Lawrence Cuison, preliminary investigation, Rendielyn Sahagun, Rodney Ynchausti, Senior Insp. Rendielyn Sahagun, Solaire Resort and Casino, Southern Police District Crime Laboratory, strangulation, Supt. Bonnie Chua, toxicology analysis
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