What really happened on the night the young flight attendant died?

Published January 6, 2021, 7:30 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Since the discovery of her body in a hotel in Makati City, 23-year-old flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera has been the hot topic on social media with everyone asking about  the circumstances that led to her  death.

Was she raped and killed? Was she drugged and raped? 

Police investigation disclosed that there was a party held in two rooms of the hotel where they checked in which led to various speculations that Dacera was drugged and later raped.

Based on the report of the Makati City Police, Dacera checked in with at least three of her friends at the City Garden Grand Hotel at the corner of Makati and Kalayaan Avenues in Barangay Poblacion, Makati City on December 31.

They took two rooms for their New Year party — Room 2207 which was occupied by seven of the guests, and Room 2209 where at least nine partygoers stayed.

Makati City police chief Col. Harold Depositar said only three people present at the party are close friends of Daccera. The other people at the party were “friends of her friends.”

At 12:30 p.m. on January 1, the body of Dacera was found in the empty bathtub of Room 2209 by her close friend Rommel Galida who also works as a flight attendant. Galida sought the assistance of their two other friends staying inside the room, Gregorio Angelo Rafael de Guzman and John dela Serna.

In a television interview, De Guzman said he was the first to perform CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) on Dacera since he believed that he could still revive her as she was still “warm” at that time.

Based on the spot report obtained by the Manila Bulletin, the security manager of the hotel, Peter Paul Ponongcos, also tried to revive Dacera after the hotel management was informed of the incident. He failed. There was already no sign of life from Dacera.

They tried to request for a rescue team from the barangay but to no avail. They went to the Makati Medical Center where Dacera was declared dead on arrival.

The incident was reported to the police station at 5 p.m. and during that time it was reported to be a case of a discovered dead body.

The body of Dacera was taken to the Rizal Funeral Homes in Pasay City. It was later brought to the Crime Laboratory of the Southern Police District in Taguig City at around 8 a.m. on January 2 for medico-legal examination.

On January 3, the discovery of the body of Dacera was reported by the media after beat reporters secured a copy of the police report.

On January 4, the Makati City police classified the case of Dacera as a possible rape-slay after investigators noticed bruises on Dacera’s body. Police said there were also traces of semen found on the victim which indicated sexual contact.

On the same day, the Makati City Police filed a provisional case of Rape with Homicide against the 12 companions of Dacera during the party.

Three of them are currently under police custody — Galida, Dela Serna, and 25-year old John Paul Reyes Halili.

At around 8 p.m. on January 4, the Philippine National Police issued a statement declaring that the case of Dacera was already solved with the detention of three of the “suspects” and the identification of nine others.

Aside from De Guzman, tagged as suspects were Louie de Lima, Clark Jezreel Rapinan, Rey Englis, Mark Anthony Rosales, Jammyr Cunanan,  Valentine Rosales, a certain Ed Madrid, and a certain Paul.

On the night of January 5, PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas gave the nine remaining suspects 72 hours to surrender or face arrest which may include the use of force if necessary. He also warned those who are coddling the nine suspects of arrest. 

In the afternoon of Jan 6, Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento disclosed that Makati City Chief Prosecutor Dindo Venturanza ordered the release of three suspects under police custody and charged by the Makati Police Station with rape with homicide in connection with the death of Christine Angelique Dacera.

Venturanza also ordered the conduct of preliminary investigation on the complaint against all 11 suspects named in the criminal case, noting insufficiency of evidence filed by the probers during inquest proceedings.