Three suspects earlier arrested in connection with the controversial death of flight attendant Christine Dacera, have been released
Police have provisionally charged 11 men with rape and homicide who were with Dacera in the adjacent hotel rooms after the air stewardess wasfound dead in bathtub
Police said she died after she was ‘gang raped’ at a New Year Eve party in luxury Philippines hotel
Ordering release of the suspects, Makati City prosecutor’s office noted that more evidence is needed to determine if the incident was a rape-slay – contradicting earlier police annoucement of body fluid evidence
CCTV footage shows final moments of Christine Angelica Dacera’s fight attendant’s life on New Year’s Eve
The 23-year-old flight attendant was celebrating New Year’s Eve with colleagues
They awoke to find the flight attendant unconscious in the bathtub with injuries
11 men have been charged on suspicion of her rape and murder
One of suspects has maintained their innocence, insisting they are homosexual
CCTV stills show the final moments of Christine Dacera before she was allegedly gang-raped and killed in a hotel room in the Philippines.
It comes as one of the gang-rape suspects has maintained his innocence by insisting he and the other 10 men who were present on the night of her death were homosexual.
The flight attendant from General Santos City was found dead in a bathtub in Makati and rushed to the hospital on the morning of January 1.
Prior to her death, Christine checked in at the hotel with three male friends for a New Year’s party where more men joined them.
The CCTV images show Dacera at the hotel without any shoes on. She is seen in one of the images holding a glass of wine as several men follow her to the room.
Final moments of air stewardess found dead after being ‘gang raped’
Makati police chief Colonel Harold Depositar said the 23-year-old had injuries on her arms and legs with traces of sperm on her private parts, which police claim was rape and homicide.
He said: ‘Only three of them were Dacera’s friends.
‘The others were practically strangers to her, as they were only known to her three friends.’
Mr Depositar went on to say: ‘For sure, there was force inflicted on her body because we found contusions in her leg and knees, and there’s an abrasion in her thigh,’
He added that semen had been found ‘in multiple places in the hotel rooms’.
Police have provisionally charged 11 men with rape and homicide who were with Dacera in the adjacent hotel rooms, local reports said.
Three of the named suspects John Pascual Dela Serna III, Rommel Galido and John Paul Halili voluntarily turned themselves in to police.
However on Wednesday, the three suspects earlier arrested in connection with the controversial death of flight attendant Christine Dacera, have been released, following the Makati City prosecutor’s office order, which noted that more evidence is needed to determine if the incident was a rape-slay.
One of the men, Gregorio de Guzman, insisted he is innocent, claiming that he and the other men charged are homosexual, according to a report in news.com.au.
Weeping, John Paul Halili said Wala kaming kasalanan [We did nothing wrong]”.
Dela Serna and Galido also maintained their innocence.
“Si Christine parang naging kapatid ko na siya. Sobrang mahal na mahal ko si Christine,” said Galido. “Sana malinawan ang mga pamilya ni Christine.”[Christine was like a sibling to me. I love her very much. I hope her family will see things clearly.]
‘Every one of them was gay,’ Mr de Guzman told local media, according an English translation by ABS-CBN News.
‘My impression of her is she likes to hang out with us LGBT members. She’s comfortable with us. The entire time she was really comfortable with every one of us.
‘For me, I’ve never had sexual relations with a woman. I’ve never been aroused by a woman. Always a man. Many can testify to that.’
According to a report in CNN, three of the suspects, John Pascual Dela Serna III, Rommel Galido and John Paul Halili, were today released following the Makati City prosecutor’s office order.
The release order noted that more evidence is needed to establish if the incident was a rape-slay.
Police said earlier, that the suspects were charged with rape and homicide due to the presence of bruises, lacerations, and fluids on Dacera’s body.
In a later resolution however, the Makati prosecutor’s office said there was not enough evidence to establish if Dacera was sexually assaulted or raped. The cause of Dacera’s death also remains unclear, it added.
“No evidence medically or scientifically was presented to prove that the cause of death or the rupture of aortic aneurysm was by reason of the alleged rape,” the resolution stated. “Likewise, if homicide was committed, the person/s responsible is/are yet to be ascertained through further evidence.”
An initial autopsy report by the police medico-legal also revealed that Dacera died of “ruptured aortic aneurysm.” No traces of seminal fluids were indicated, contradicting Makati Police Chief Col. Harold Depositar who announced the presence of semen in the body orificies and genitalia.
Wednesday’s resolution states that Dacera checked in the the City Garden Hotel at 11 am on December 31, with Galido, Dela Serna, Louie De Lima and Clark Rapinan.
At 10 pm, in the company of Gregorio De Guzman, Valentine Rosales, Mark Anthony Rosales, Jammyr Cunanan, and Eduard Madrid, the group began eating and drinking. That is when Galido noticed that Dacera drank strong alcoholic drinks namely, tequila and rum coke. Halili later joined the crowd at 1:45 am.
CCTV footage showed that Dacera was last seen alive at 6:23 a.m. of January 1. It was at 12:25 p.m. when the hotel front desk received a call from a male person asking for assistance as Dacera was unconscious in the bathtub. Dacera was then brought to the Makati Medical Center where she was declared dead on arrival.
The initial autopsy report of the cause of death was a ruptured aortic aneurysm, which could be due to very strenuous activity and probably a high level of alcohol toxicity.
Police said that one of the men, Rommel Daluro Galido, gave a statement claiming he woke up at around 10am and noticed the victim asleep in the bathtub. Galido covered her with a blanket before going back to sleep.
When Galido woke up several hours later, he found her still unconscious and worse, she had started to turn blue.
He raised the alarm and Dacera was given CPR, but failed to respond and was rushed to the Makati Medical Clinic where doctors could only confirm her death.
However, police were suspicious because the young woman had cuts and bruises on her body in particular around her thighs and knees and a more detailed examination found sperm in her body justifying a provisional rape charge against all 11 men who had been in the room with her.
They added that the provisional rape charge would only be filed against all 11 men once they have the autopsy results.
However, Christine’s family as well as the Commission on Human Rights will be conducting independent autopsy examination.
Christine’s family are pushing for a second autopsy after claiming the first one was incomplete, ABS-CBN reported.
They claimed Christine ‘had already experienced intoxication and complained that her drinks appeared to have been spiked’ during the New Year’s celebrations.
The family’s lawyer, Brick Reyes reportedly said they believed the young woman was drugged and abused before her death.
The victim’s mother said that she knew her daughter was going to the party with work colleagues and had allowed it because she trusted them.
She said: ‘I had no idea that she would be in any danger because she was only with other flight attendants. I don’t know why they had to do this to my child. Now all I have left is the fight for justice. They raped my child.’
The investigation continues.