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Accused in Dacera Case Hoping for a Fresh Start After Police Findings

The report stated there was no foul play involved.

In the past few weeks, one issue has become a hot topic aside from COVID-19— the controversial death of Christine Dacera.

The flight attendant’s case has been monitored by many since January 1, as there were opposing statements and stories surrounding the incident. The family is saying one thing, while her companions who were with her that night were saying another. And yesterday, January 27, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory finally released the medico-legal report in hopes of giving more clarity to both parties and the public.

According to the January 11 report signed off on by medico-legal officer Police Lt. Col. Joseph Palmero, the PAL Express flight attendant died of ‘natural causes.’ This is in line with what the attending doctor in the emergency room told Dacera’s companions when they rushed her to the Makati Medical Center, saying she died due to an aortic aneurysm. (Read: Death of Flight Attendant Sparks Debates About Victim-Blaming)

“Rape and/or drug overdose will not result (in) the development of aneurysms. Even overdose and ruptured aneurysm are two different conditions and cannot be both included as a cause of death of a patient,” the medico-legal report stated.

Christine Dacera Case

Christine Dacera’s friends John Pascual Dela Serna II, Rommel Galido, and John Paul Halili- all suspects in her death- face the media shortly after being released from detention, Jan. 6, 2020. (Photo from Joyce Balancio / ABS-CBN News)

Initially, when the case was still assumed to be rape with homicide, there were 11 persons of interest that the police were looking at— all of whom were with Dacera on the night before she died. Three of the 11 were brought in and were under the custody of the PNP while the investigation was underway.

They were eventually freed upon the order of Makati Assistant City Prosecutor Joan Bolina-Santillan, after she deemed that the case needed further investigation. However, the family reacted negatively towards this and the new medico-legal report as they still believe it was a case of rape with homicide, and not simply a natural death. (Read: 3 Ways to Start Living Zero-Waste This 2021)

“The Dacera family disputes that. They believe that she was spiked with drugs and sexually molested in either (room) 2207 and 2209 and that contributed to her death,” Dacera family’s legal counsel Atty. Roger Reyes said. But with the newest findings in the case, the accused are looking to move on from this and go back to their normal lives.

Hoping for a Fresh Start

(Left) Gregorio de Guzman and Clark Rapinan hoping for a fresh start after the report had cleared them of any criminal liabilities. (Photos from Philippines Lifestyle News and Clarke Jezreel Rapinan Facebook)

“For now, all we want is for it to be over. We want to move on from our lives, we want to restart because we don’t know where to start, to build everything that has been damaged,” said Gregorio de Guzman, one of the accused and son of singer Claire Dela Fuente.

He added that if there’s a lesson learned from all of this is that people will continuously antagonize you and use you for their entertainment even if you do the right thing. (Read: ‘Pope Francis Village’ offers a fresh start for Yolanda survivors)

Clark Rapinan, another accused, said “Sirang sira na po ang reputation namin. Gusto na namin bumalik sa normal iyong buhay namin. May mga pamilya din po kami na sobrang naapektuhan lahat. Pamilya namin, trabaho namin. Basically, buhay namin sobrang damaged. Sana po maawa na po kayo sa amin.”

All the accused are just hoping for a fresh start after the report had cleared them of any criminal liabilities.

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