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Cops ask to reopen probe of Christine Dacera case after drug traces found

Makati police have asked for the re-opening of the Department of Justice's preliminary investigation into the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera after laboratory findings showed traces of drugs from the room she and her friends stayed in on New Year's Eve, a lawyer for some of the respondents in the alleged killing said on Thursday.

At a press conference, Atty. Mike Santiago questioned the timing of the Makati authorities motion coming as it did weeks after prosecutors wrapped up their preliminary investigation into the homicide and rape cases filed in connection with Dacera's death on New Year's Day.

“Now that everybody is eagerly waiting for the release of the resolution, 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,” Santiago said.

“Dapat hindi na tanggapin ng prosecutor ito dahil number one, it is misleading, they’re being mislead by the PNP. Let it stay na submitted na for resolution ‘yong kaso,” he added.

Dacera was found lifeless in the wee hours of New Year's Day in the bathtub of Room 2209 where she and friends spent the night partying. 

Some of her friends have been named respondents in the case.

On February 17, the Makati Prosecutor’s Office ended its preliminary investigation on the Dacera case.

The complaint for rape and homicide has been submitted for resolution. This means the prosecutors will now determine, based on evidence presented, whether to press charges against the respondents in court.

Santiago said they received a copy of the motion to reopen and admit additional evidence on Wednesday, March 3. Attached in the motion, which was submitted to the prosecutor on Monday, March 1, were a toxicology report and semen analysis.

The toxicology examination on the two cotton swabs from Room 2209, where Dacera and her friends checked in, were found positive for 4-fluoromethamphetamine and methamphetamine, both dangerous drugs. The analysis was completed on February 11 but was submitted on February 20.

Meanwhile, through immunological testing, the PNP Crime Laboratory Office found semen on the blanket specimens from Room 2209. The test was completed on February 9 but received by the PNP-CLO on February 18.

“Why only now?” Santiago said. “Ngayong malapit na, everybody is anticipating that a resolution will be coming out very very soon tapos biglang mag-fi-file ng motion to reopen on the basis of old rehashed evidence.”

Dacera, 23, died on January 1 after a New Year's Eve celebration with her friends. Her family believes she was drugged and sexually abused. They are pursuing the complaint against her companions the night before she died.

Dacera's friends, however, have insisted they did not harm her, instead claiming that they took care of her when she was heavily drunk and until her final moments.

A medico legal report of the PNP Crime Laboratory ruled out homicide as the cause of death. Instead, the report said Dacera died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm that was triggered by an increase in blood pressure. -NB, GMA News