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Christine Dacera case ‘not yet closed’ as Palace backs prosecutor’s move

Malacañang on Thursday backed the decision of the Makati Prosecutor’s Office to call for further investigation into the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera as it asked the public not to make speculations about the case.

Speaking at a news conference, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the conduct of a preliminary investigation will help shed light on the incident.

“Iyan po’y makakabuti dahil ang gusto ng piskal ay magkaroon ng additional na ebidensiya nang sa gayon kapag naisampa sa kaso, diri-diretso na po sa Muntinlupa [New Bilibid Prison] ang mga magiging akusado,” said Roque, a lawyer.

“Obviously po dahil mayroon pang hininging ebidensiya ang ating fiscal, [the] case is not yet closed.”

On Wednesday, the prosecutor ordered the release of the three suspects who were detained following Dacera’s demise on January 1.

They face a criminal complaint for rape with homicide along with several others who will undergo a preliminary investigation scheduled for January 13.

In an inquest resolution, Assistant City Prosecutor Joan Bolina-Santillan said the pieces of evidence so far submitted were insufficient to establish the “exact cause of death,” whether this was because of the alleged rape, and, if so, whether the respondents were responsible.

Santillan also said that police have not yet submitted the results of DNA analysis, toxicology/chemical analysis and histopath examination.

Earlier, the Philippine National Police considered the Dacera case “solved” due to the identification of the alleged offenders, “sufficient evidence," the apprehension of the suspects, and the filing of a criminal complaint before the prosecutor’s office.

Dacera was found dead in the bathtub of a Makati hotel room on January 1. The 23-year-old had checked in to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends.

Her reported cause of death was a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Her family suspects she was drugged and sexually abused. The family then sought another autopsy on Dacera, whose remains were flown to her hometown General Santos City on Thursday.

“This is a live investigation. Let us not speculate po hanggang malaman natin ang lahat ng katotohanan,” Roque said.

The Palace assured that justice will be served.

“Ang pangako naman po ng Presidente ay makakamit po ang katarungan sa pamilyang Dacera,” Roque said.

“Malalaman po natin ang katotohanan at sa administrasyon po ni Presidente, dahil siya’y abogado at dati pang piskal, hindi niya hahayaan na ang mga kriminal ay hindi po mapaparusahan.” — RSJ, GMA News