MANILA, Philippines — Sharon Dacera, the mother of flight attendant Christine Dacera who passed away on New Year's Day, holds her daughter's friends responsible for not taking care of Dacera the night of their party in a Makati hotel.
To recall, Christine Dacera was found unconscious in a hotel bathtub the morning after and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she passed away. Over a week after the controversial incident on New Year’s Day, though, the circumstances of Dacera's death are still largely unclear, and the National Bureau of Investigation has since launched its own probe into the alleged rape-slay.
"Yes, [he had some lapses.] If he knew that my daughter had a headache, then he should have called the clinic of the hotel. They had one, didn't they?" the victim's mother said in Filipino in an interview aired over ANC's "Hot Copy."
Sharon was referring to Rommel Galida, another flight attendant whom initial police reports said was with Dacera and two other men when they checked into the hotel at midnight.
According to the victim's mother, Dacera had already told Galida about feeling nauseous and fearing that her drink may have been spiked. Sharon said Galida still went to bed after the party.
"I hope Rommel just speaks the truth if Christine is really his true friend and little sister...they were the only ones with her that night," the victim's mother said.
"When Rommel and I met at the police station, all he told me was that Christine leaned on his shoulder and said that something seemed to be put in her drink," she also said.
Both the national police and the Dacera family assert that there was foul play involved in the death of the victim, though the three main suspects who were with Dacrera that night, including Galida, have since been ordered released by the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office due to lack of evidence for the rape and homicide complaints, which the three have staunchly denied.
Earlier this week, the Dacera family also sought another autopsy, pointing out that the existing one did not take into account the contusions and lacerations found on the victim's body.
After initially tagging the case as "solved," the Philippine National Police has since admitted to lapses in the investigation into the death, saying that an autopsy was not conducted before Dacera’s body was embalmed. Police Gen. Debold Sinas, PNP chief, had asserted in a press briefing that he still believes the death was a rape-slay, citing evidence he claimed the PNP could not yet share.
For his part, though, Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento has also since disclosed that the national police has only submitted a medico-legal report and death certificate of Dacera thus far, leaving no evidence yet for such a claim.
Asked if she believed a crime had indeed occurred, the victim's mother said: "Yes. My daughter is dead now."
"All I know is I feel pain. All I can do now is pray. But I know my pain will be lessened once my daughter gets justice."