The lawyer of the respondents in the controversial death of flight attendant Christine Dacera questioned the motive of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in asking to reopen the case after releasing extra evidence on Thursday.
The PNP reported that the samples taken from Dacera’s hotel room at City Garden Hotel in Makati, where she was found unconscious on New Year’s Eve, tested positive for drugs.
Atty. Mike Santiago, legal counsel of Rommel Galido, Valentine Rosales, John Pascual de la Serna, Clark Rapinan, and Gregorio Angelo Rafael de Guzman, however, questioned the timing of the PNP’s revelation, especially with the Makati Prosecutor’s Office set to release its resolution on the case.
Santiago said the PNP had plenty of time to file a motion seeing the drug test results were already given to them as early as February.
“All of a sudden, they want the investigation to be reopened. Not on the basis of newly discovered evidence, but on the basis of old evidence that is being presented only now,” said Santiago in a press conference. “All of the sudden ay mayroon na pong report ang PNP na meron pong allegedly chloromethamphetamine and methamphetamine, both dangerous drugs, so medyo alarming on our part.”
The semen analysis made by the PNP Crime Laboratory also tested positive.
Santiago also expressed doubts on the credibility of the toxicology report, noting the PNP’s previous admission of not having enough samples to conduct proper tests.
“Hindi nila kaya daw mag-conduct ng examination dahil napaka-onti ng sample meron sila and yet the PNP was able to come up with this chemistry report. They are contradicting themselves,” said Santiago. “Up to now, wala pang result ‘yung sa UP (University of the Philippines Manila Drug of Abuse Research Laboratory), which is quite independent of the PNP. So you can ask yourselves: Ano ang motibo ng paglalabas nitong belated toxicology report?”
After being found lifeless in the bathroom following a night of partying with her friends, the 23-year-old Dacera died on the way to the hospital. Initial autopsy results revealed she died of natural causes, identifying a ruptured aortic aneurysm as the cause of death.
Dacera’s family, however, three months after her death, still believes that she was forced to take drugs and was sexually abused as they continue to pursue the complaint against her friends, who have denied the allegations.
Last February 17, the Makati Prosecutor’s Office ended its preliminary investigation on the Dacera case, leaving it up to the prosecutors to decide if they will press charges against the respondents.
Santiago said they are not afraid of the latest evidence released by the PNP, adding they are prepared to fight.