Makati court junks police rape-homicide raps vs 11 respondents in Dacera case

THE Makati City Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday junked the rape and homicide case filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) against 11 respondents in the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera for lack of probable cause.

“With all the foregoing, this office finds that the evidence presented are insufficient to engender a well-founded belief that rape, homicide, or rape with homicide has been committed,” Assistant City Prosecutor Joan Bolina-Santillan said in a 19-page resolution.

The respondents are John Pascual dela Serna; Rommel Galido; John Paul Halili; Gigo de Guzman; Clark Rapinan; Valentine Rosales; Mark Anthony Rosales; Reymar Englis; Louie D. Delima; Jamyr Orris Cunanan; and Eduard Pangilinan.

They had filed counter charges against Dacera’s mother, Sharon, and the PNP for perjury, libel, cyber libel, malicious prosecution, incriminating innocent persons, intriguing against honor, and slander or oral defamation.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had recommended the filing charges against five of the 11 individuals based on the results of its own inquiry and autopsy. Charged by the NBI for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide were Dela Serna, Rapinan, and Valentine Rosales. Facing perjury are Galido, Dela Serna, and Darwin Macalla, who is not among the 11 original suspects.

Lawyer Neptali Maroto, counsel for one of the respondents, and Southern Police District medico-legal officer, Police Maj. Michael Sarmiento were charged for obstruction of justice and falsification of public documents respectively.

The 23-year old flight attendant was found unconscious in a bathtub at the City Garden Hotel on New Year’s Day after a private year-end celebration with friends.

Initial police autopsy and medico-legal examination showed that Dacera had lacerations in her vagina and contusions on her legs that indicated rape. A further review of the findings, however, revealed that Dacera died from aneurysm and was neither raped nor killed, which prompted the Department of Justice (DoJ) to order an independent investigation by the NBI.

But the family of Dacera believes that Christine was sexually assaulted and killed.