Three suspects linked to the alleged rape-slay of Christine Angelica Dacera were freed last night after the Makati City Prosecutors Office found the evidence against them inadequate.
“At this point, the pieces of evidence so far submitted are insufficient to establish that she was sexually assaulted or raped. And, if sexual assault/rape was committed, who is/are the person/s responsible,” the prosecutors’ resolution said.
The prosecutors added that the pieces of evidence presented by the police were not enough to establish that the 23-year-old Dacera died of an aneurysm that was caused by the supposed rape. The prosecutors also recommended that the authorities conduct a regular preliminary investigation first to determine if Dacera was indeed raped and killed during a New Year’s Day party held at City Garden Hotel.
“No evidence medically or scientifically was presented to prove that the cause of death or the rupture of the aortic aneurysm was by reason of the alleged rape. Likewise, if the homicide was committed, the person/s responsible is/are yet to be ascertained through further evidence,” the prosecutors added.
It was about 7pm when the three suspects—Rommel Galido, John Pascual Dela Serna, and John Paul Halili—were freed by the Makati police. All three suspects insisted that they had nothing to do with Dacera’s alleged rape-slay.
“My family has been having a hard time, my entire family. We’re all innocent,” an emotional Halili told ABS-CBN News.
“They should determine first what really happened. I went here to give my testimony and they suddenly jailed us. We were just cooperating with them. We just told them what we knew,” he said.
The Philippine National Police is insisting that the three men, along with eight other suspects, raped and killed Dacera because the flight attendant had “lacerations and sperm in her genitalia.” However, CNN Philippines reported that the official autopsy, one conducted by the police themselves, did not mention anything about finding traces of semen but noted that there were abrasions and lacerations on Dacera’s private parts. The autopsy also stated that the official cause of the victim’s death was a “ruptured aortic aneurysm.”
The Dacera family has refused to accept the findings of the police and are seeking another autopsy because the authorities supposedly ignored their kin’s injuries. They did not say who will perform it.
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation is getting involved in the fray and will conduct another autopsy on the victim’s body. It is unclear if this will be done after the Dacera family’s independent autopsy or before it.
Another suspect, Gregorio Angelo Rafael de Guzman, surfaced earlier this week to insist that he was innocent of the crime, saying that it was impossible for him to rape Dacera because he is gay. However, Makati Police Chief Col. Harold Depositar insisted that it was still possible for De Guzman to commit rape even if he is not a straight man, especially if the latter were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.