Sinas orders probe on Makati cops' possible lapses in Dacera case

Philippine News Agency
January 11, 2021

PNP chief, Gen. Debold Sinas (File photo)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, on Monday instructed the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) to look into the possible liability of the Makati policemen who investigated the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.

"I have directed the DIDM to conduct a separate inquiry and recommend to us not later than January 13 their findings on any liabilities of Makati police officers involved in the ongoing investigation of the Dacera case. So there is a separate investigation that is headed by the director of the DIDM," Sinas said in a media press briefing at Camp Crame.

Maj. Gen. Marni Marcos, director of the DIDM, said possible administrative cases will be filed if Makati cops committed lapses in the investigation of Dacera who was found lifeless in a bathtub of a hotel in Makati City after celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends.

“If there are lapses, we will forward the results of the investigation to Chief PNP, there will be administrative cases,” Marcos told the Philippine News Agency.

Sinas ordered the activation of a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to submit developments and results on the ongoing criminal investigation.

Sinas said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group is the lead investigator on the case under the supervision of National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) acting chief, Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao.

Danao said investigators continue to collate pieces of evidence on the case as well as statements of those who could shed light on the demise of the 23-year-old flight attendant.

"As of now, we are still collating pieces of evidence, especially statements from the would-be key witnesses and we are still awaiting the results from the forensic science being conducted by the Crime Lab," Danao said in the same presser.

He said the pieces of evidence and statements will be properly submitted before the fiscal during the preliminary investigation.

“If we cannot beat the time on January 13, we will be asking the fiscal for an extension of time, and up to what date will be... all will be given by the fiscal," he added.

Meanwhile, Sinas dismissed the alleged special treatment being given by the authorities to the Dacera family.

“Actually, wala namang VIP treatment ‘yung dito nag-offer kami ng space kasi ‘yung PAL [Philippine Airline] employees gusto nila dumalaw before dalhin ‘yung cadaver ni Ms Christine doon sa GenSan kaya lang wala silang makuhang lugar. (There was no VIP treatment, we just offered space because the PAL employees wanted to pay their last respect before the cadaver of Ms. Christine will be brought to General Santos City but they have no space). They just asked for two hours for viewing of PAL employees so imbes na makipag-haggle pa sila doon (instead of haggling) for only two hours, they asked for our assistance,” Sinas said.

On the security provided during the flight attendant's burial, Sinas said Dacera's mother, Sharon, has possible requests with the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) because Christine is a reservist.

Sinas said he did not order that tight security be given during the burial.

"Lahat naman po yan pinupuntahan natin kung sino po ang biktima pinupuntahan namin hindi po yan namimili.. Lahat inaasikaso natin (We help every victim. We are not selective. We assist everyone),” Sinas said.

The Makati City Prosecutors Office has ordered a further investigation of the case and the release of three detained suspects identified as John Pascual Dela Serna, Rommel Galido, and John Paul Halili due to insufficient evidence.

Police officers were also ordered to submit a DNA analysis report, toxicology/chemical analysis, and a histopathology examination report as additional pieces of evidence.

The hearing for the preliminary investigation of the Dacera case was set for Jan. 13.

Dacera was laid to rest in her hometown in General Santos City.

Forensic experts from the National Bureau of Investigation conducted another autopsy on Christine’s remains on Saturday as part of the ongoing investigation.

Dacera finished her Bachelor of Arts in Communication major in Media Arts at University of the Philippines-Mindanao in 2017 as cum laude and was a member of the university’s dance ensemble.

She worked as PAL flight attendant until her death. (PNA)

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