Singer-businesswoman Claire de la Fuente, mother of one of the accused in the Dacera case, expressed gratitude for the financial support their camp received days after they appealed on social media.
Flight attendant Christine Dacera reportedly died due to ruptured aortic aneurysm after a night of New Year’s Eve celebrations at the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City.
The individuals she partied with that night were accused of rape and homicide despite anomalies in the initial probe of the Philippine National Police.
Amid the ongoing investigation, the camp of the accused launched a Facebook page called Fund the Truth on January 9 to seek for legal aid on behalf of the suspects, namely, Gregorio “Gigo” de Guzman, Rommel Galido, JP Dela Serna, Clark Rapinan and Valentine Rosales.
I would like to ask for your help to raise funds for me and my fellow friends who are struggling to finance a lawyer in assisting us in this situation & effectively defend us. Any amount of donation will mean alot & will be appreciated.
thank you 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/8Ms8QdmcwH
— Valentine Rosales ☾ (@valentinechenn) January 9, 2021
In an interview with ABS-CBN on Monday, De La Fuente, mother of de Guzman and de facto spokesperson of the group, thanked the public for the financial assistance they received, citing the donations reached six figures.
“Ang anak ko, kaya niya ang costs ng legal defense pero itong mga batang ito, wala namang masyadong kaya sa buhay for a long and costly legal defense, kailangan pa nilang mag-donation drive,” she said.
In a Facebook post on January 10, the group said that those who wish to donate may message the page privately to prevent from being scammed.
“Beware of Scammers! Please see below details on how to help #FundTheTruth. You may also send us a private message. Thank you so much!” the post read.
The investigation that ensued over Dacera’s death had been the subject of headlines and had dominated online conversations since the PNP reported it on January 4.
The PNP was criticized for declaring the case of Dacera “solved” despite lack of medical findings.
NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin on Monday said that Dacera’s body might have already been contaminated due to it being embalmed prior to examination.
“Although the human body of Dacera had been compromised, most of the pieces of the organs are contaminated due to embalming, but we have encouraging results,” Lavin said.
In a report by GMA News’ “24 Oras,” its source from NBI claimed that the second autopsy report discovered 100 milliliters of bodily fluids.
These fluids and Dacera’s organs will still undergo DNA analysis.
Despite earlier recognizing lapses in the initial findings, Lavin remained confident with the “leads” in the second autopsy.
“We have very interesting leads. We have very encouraging results. Kaya malaman kung [may] presence of alcohol, level of alcohol maybe, presence of illegal drugs,” the NBI official said.
“May crime. Let’s leave it at that. May crime dito,” he added.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun, one of the two forensic pathologists in the country, reacted to this report on Twitter.
“Using their state of the art ultra-modern equipment they will identify the brand of embalming fluid used,” Fortun wrote.
In another interview, Fortun explained how authorities will determine the reliability of the samples taken on the second autopsy.
“How did they recover the urine? Aspirated carefully? Then what? Sealed, labeled, how transported, turned over to lab. What tests will be done. Qualifications of lab, personnel. Methodology, results. Even if something’s in it what’s the significance,” she said.
Aside from the embalming of the body, Fortun also questioned why the NBI found urine while the PNP failed to uncover the similar evidence.
“Multimillion-peso question: why no urine in PNP report yet NBI found some. How was first exam done, labanan ng documentation who’s telling the truth. If first autopsy faked bladder findings, everything in the report (and every report this doctor did in the past) is suspect,” Fortun said.
Both Fortun and her fellow forensic pathologist Dr. Cecilia Lim previously stated that an autopsy report should include details such as histopathology, swab test or rape kit, DNA analysis and toxicology.