The friends of Christine Dacera who she celebrated New Year's Eve with on Thursday denied they raped and killed their "baby sister," instead saying they cared for her until her final moments.
In an interview with media, four of the men identified by the police as suspects said they loved Dacera and could not have harmed her.
Dacera, 23, died on New Year's Day following a party at a Makati hotel. The reported cause of death was a "ruptured aortic aneurysm," but her family believes she was drugged and sexually abused.
Prosecutors will begin a preliminary investigation on January 13 to find out whether she was raped and/or killed and, if so, if her friends—the ones named as respondents—were the perpetrators.
Four of her friends recounted the events of December 31, saying Dacera went to the neighboring hotel room a number of times. Back in their room, they said she was heavily drunk and was vomiting.
They said they put her in bed, put a bathrobe on her, assisted her when she was throwing up, and made her drink water.
"Gusto ko lang po sabihin sa family ni Tin, alam ko po mahirap sa inyo 'yung nangyari. Hindi gano'n kadali mawalan ng anak at alam kong hindi maganda ang nanay ang naghahatid sa anak sa huling hantungan," said JP Dela Serna.
"Pero sana naiintindihan niyo rin po 'yung grieving process namin na hindi po gano'n kadaling mawalan ng isang matalik na kaibigan. Not only a kaibigan, but our baby sister," he said.
He also said he could not see any reason why the people in the other room would commit the "foul play" they are being accused of. He said their single goal was to celebrate.
Valentine Rosales said they are not guilty.
"The last moments of Tin is with us in the room, doon sa tub. For sure lahat kami inalagaan siya, tinry namin siyang alagaan dahil suka siya nang suka... " he said. "I did my best."
Clark Rapina said none of them could do what they are being accused of.
"Walang may kayang gumawa ng pangbababoy kay Tin, wala saming magkakaibigan, dahil kami, talagang mahal na mahal namin siya," he said.
"'Yung pinaparatang sa'min na binaboy namin siya, ni-rape, hindi namin kayang gawin sa kanya 'yun at hindi kami ganong klaseng tao. Pinalaki kami ng mga magulang namin, kaya yung pinaparatang samin na binaboy namin siya, ni-rape, walang ganon," he said, in tears.
Dela Serna, Rommel Galido, and John Paul Halili were detained by police until Makati prosecutors ordered their release for further investigation.
They face a criminal complaint for rape with homicide. — BM, GMA News