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2nd autopsy on Dacera's body may yield useful results, Guevarra insists

Contrary to the opinion of some experts, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra still believes that a second autopsy on the embalmed  remains of 23-year-old Christine Dacera would still yield some results useful for the death case.

Guevarra made the remark on Sunday after ordering the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a second autopsy on the body of Dacera, who was found dead in a bathroom of a Makati hotel on January 1.

In a Dobol B sa News TV interview, Guevarra said NBI personnel have already gone to General Santos City to extract tissue samples from Dacera's body.

He admitted though that conducting the second autopsy given the body's state is a tough job.

"Totoo yun na medyo mahirap na, pero... possible pa. Kaya nga sila nagpunta roon. Kasi kung tingin nila ay wala nang pag-asa na may makuha pa dahil na-embalsamo na, e hindi na sila magtitiyaga na pumunta pa roon," Guevarra pointed out.

"The mere fact na nagpunta sila roon is an indication that, and they have informed me, na meron pang chance na meron pang masilip doon sa mga organs, tissues na kukunin nila," he added.

Guevarra said that among the expected findings in the second autopsy are traces of alcohol and drugs on Dacera's remains.

"That is still a possibility although mas mahirap ngayon dahil nga na-embalsamo na pero I think they have the technology para makita pa rin kung meron bang illegal substance or sobrang alcohol na nasa katawan ni Christine nung time na siya ay mamatay," he added.

Gueverra gave the NBI 10 days to submit a report on the second autopsy of Dacera's body.

Dacera, a 23-year-old flight attendant, was found dead in the bathtub of a hotel room in Makati on New Year’s Day. She had checked in to celebrate New Year’s Eve with her friends.

Earlier, the Philippine National Police insisted that Dacera was raped prior to her death. There was also the speculation that she was drugged.

Earlier reports indicates that Dacera’s family still believes that Christine did not die of aortic aneurysm, contrary to the earlier medical report that has since gone viral in social media.

However, forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun said conducting a second autopsy to swab Dacera of substantial evidence of rape was already “too late.”

“If your purpose in doing a second examination is to swab, surfaces for sexual assault examination, DNA, halimbawa, that’s too late,” she said.

“You cannot do it anymore so I’m not sure what is the purpose of this examination. I’m very curious totoo bang mayroong aneurysm? Mache-check mo ba ang ibang organs for natural disease or is this a way for them to go back, 'Uy teka nakalimutan namin kumuha ng ng tissue samples?'” she added.

According to Guevarra, upon arrival from General Santos City, the NBI team would conduct its own investigation that would run parallel with the one being conducted by the Philippine National Police.

As part of its investigation, the NBI will also summon the guests in the room next to Dacera and her friends', he added.

Identities of these guests can easily be known through information from the hotel as well as through CCTV footage.

"Yan ay iimbestigahan ng NBI at ihahabol nila kung ano man ang kanilang magiging findings sa preliminary investigation na kino-conduct na ng Department of Justice na magsisimula sa January 13," he said.

"Ito yung regular preliminary investigation, hindi na ito inquest kamukha nung nangyari, nung nauna na kumbaga ay ibinalik lang nila sa PNP yung nauna nilang complaint," he added. —LBG, GMA News