MANILA, Philippines — The Makati prosecution office has started its preliminary investigation into the rape with homicide complaint the police filed against eleven known companions of Christine Dacera on the night before she died.
The Office of the Prosecutor of Makati said the family of Dacera, the Philippine National Police, and seven of the 11 respondents, along with their respective legal counsels, attended the proceedings on Wednesday morning.
It also said the PNP moved to reset the preliminary investigation, stating that they are still waiting for results of DNA analysis, toxicology/chemical analysis, histopath examination and laboratory results from Makati Medical Center.
The police had earlier only submitted a medico-legal report and death certificate of Dacera when they filed the complaint for inquest, but the prosecutor moved to refer it for preliminary investigation, saying that the evidence was not sufficient to prove that a crime was committed or who committed the crime.
The Makati prosecutor’s office added that five of respondents submitted their joint counter-affidavit during the hearing.
A lawyer of one of the respondents in the police’s rape-slay complaint over the death of Christine Dacera said there was no drugs involved in the New Year’s eve party in the Makati City hotel.
In a series of tweet reports of ABS-CBN, lawyer Abby Portugal, legal counsel of some of the respondents, said they made a partial retraction of an earlier affidavit on “powder drugs” supposedly inserted in one of the respondents’ socks.
“The powder issue insinuating drug use actually came from the mouth of the PNP,” Portugal said, adding that JP Dela Sera and Rommel Galido, two of the respondents, were “subjected to mental torture and misrepresentations” when they were detained police custody.
The family of Dacera insisted that Christine was sexually assaulted before she died, a claim that the respondents, who are peers of the flight attendant, all denied.
The National Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, is also looking into Dacera’s case, following the order of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra who said police’s probe was “not thorough enough.”
The next preliminary investigation hearing is set on January 27. — Kristine Joy Patag