The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday filed several criminal charges against 11 people in connection with the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.
Complaints for obstruction of justice were filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Dacera’s companions at a Makati hotel where she celebrated New Year’s Eve.
They are Mark Anthony Rosales, Rommel Galido, John Pascual dela Serna III, Gregorio Angelo Rafael de Guzman, Jezreel Rapinan, Alain Chen, Reymar Englis, Louie Delima and Darwin Joseph Macalla. Their lawyer Neptali Maroto was also included in the complaint.
In a statement, the NBI said these individuals gave “false or fabricated information to mislead or prevent the law enforcement agencies from apprehending the offenders.”
The NBI also said Rapinan, Chen, De Lima and dela Serna should be prosecuted for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide for neglecting Dacera’s condition, which “led to her untimely death.” It also accused Rosales of administering illegal drugs.
Galido and Rosales were also charged over their alleged attempt to give away illegal drugs.
Perjury raps, meanwhile, were recommended against Dela Serna, Galido and Macalla.
A complaint for falsification of an official document by a public officer was filed against Southern Police District medico-legal officer Michael Nick Sarmiento, who ordered the embalming of Dacera’s remains without the consent of her family.
The NBI said Sarmiento made “untruthful findings” in his autopsy report. Contrary to the PNP’s findings, the NBI said it was able to extract 130 milliliters of urine from Dacera and found no abrasions on the labia majora.
The NBI cited the PNP’s report that traces of dangerous drugs (fluoromethamphetamine and methamphetamine) were found inside the room where Dacera and her friends stayed.
“There was a result that there was presence of dangerous drugs, fluoromethamphetamine, in the vomit,” NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin told reporters.
“We have testimonial pieces of evidence, I think seven or eight, and then the forensic report of SOCO, and we have the testimony of [a certain] Jake Esperon that he was offered illegal drugs when he went to [Room] 2209 and it was also testified that Mark showed him powdered drugs. He pulled the powdered drugs from his socks," he added.
Lavin also said they could not prove that Dacera was raped.
“According to the testimonies of the witnesses who checked-in at Room 2207, around three in the morning, victim Dacera told them that she did not want to be at Room 2209 because they [her companions] were high for taking party drugs, in contrast to the sworn statements of the victim’s friends and companions at Room 2209,” the NBI added.
Some of Dacera’s friends were also among those earlier charged by the police with rape with homicide before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office.
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.
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 Philippine National Police 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.
The NBI’s toxicology examination on her body, meanwhile, showed presence of diltiazem, a prescription drug used to treat hypertension. The agency also suggested that the cause of death was aneurysm.
“Re-autopsy on the cadaver of victim Dacera revealed that the cause of her death was microscopic evidence of peri-aortic hemorrhages and aortic wall disruption, suspicious for a bleeding dissecting aneurysm based on the review of slides of PNP Crime Laboratory.” --KBK/KG, GMA News