It is irresponsible for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to declare Christine Dacera’s case closed when there are still many questions and baseless accusations permeating the issue of her death, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday.
Robredo said she is sympathizing with Dacera’s mother, Sharon, because she has daughters of her own.
“I’m a mother with daughters who are almost Christine’s age. I sympathize with her (Sharon) and their whole family because there is nothing more painful than losing your child. Add to that the fact that her death has no closure because you do not understand what happened and how it happened,” she said in Filipino during her weekly radio show.
The vice president was referring to Dacera, the flight attendant who was found dead in the bathtub of the City Garden Hotel in Makati last January 1.
The PNP initially said it was a rape-slay, and that the case was solved because they have already identified the culprits to Dacera’s death. It turned out, however, through the autopsy that the flight attendant died of natural causes and the men who were allegedly her rapists were actually her friends, all of whom are members of the LGBT community.
Robredo said the police should not have been quick in their assessment of the case because the evidence was muddy.
The investigation, she added, “was not conclusive.”
“We should be responsible when handling crimes like these. We should follow protocols. Those who handle these processes should know what protocols to follow. This is also a reminder to those who handle crime scenes to be extra careful,” she said.
Dacera’s family has filed a case against medico-legal officer Police Major Michael Sarmiento for embalming the body without the consent of the family, and for doing so before proceeding with the medico-legal examination.
This has affected the results of the autopsy, which said that Dacera died of an aortic aneurysm. The autopsy report also said she had deep-healed lacerations in her genitals, which is contrary to a rape victim.
Robredo hit that it is even a greater injustice to the Dacera family for them not to know what actually happened to the flight attendant.
But she also lamented that it is unjust for those accused to have their names dragged to the case when “there is a lack of orderly investigation into what happened.”
“Once proven, the suspects should be punished to the full extent of the law. (However), it is unjust to give conclusions when there is no proper investigation. For me, that is fooling the people involved. If you do not have the evidence, you’re already ruining these lives (of the accused),” Robredo said.