Family of flight attendant wants independent autopsy
The family of a 23-year old PAL Express flight attendant Christine Dacera, whose body was found in a bathtub at a hotel room on Jan. 1, sought an independent autopsy after they found out that her bruises and contusions were not included in her medico legal report released by the police.
“We are disputing the findings of SOCO (scene of the crime operatives) on their post-mortem report which they claimed (that) the cause of death (is) aneurysm. They did not specify in the report the hematoma, bruises that were found in the victim’s body. That’s why we seek another post-mortem report from an independent medico legal,” Paolo Tuliao, one of the lawyers of the Dacera family, said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
In the same briefing the family’s spokesperson, Brick Reyes said the family believed that even though her death might be caused from a ruptured aortic aneurysm, there is a possibility that something triggered it.
“If you look closely at the medico legal, it is not complete as far as we are concerned. That is why we requested another autopsy and we also believe that maybe the aortic aneurysm was a proximate cause but it is also very possible that this could have been triggered by the assault on Christine prior to her death,” Reyes said.
He said the family also believed that someone spiked the victim’s drink during their party last December 31 in a hotel in Makati City.
He added they also filed a complaint against the hotel’s duty manager as he was seen in the CCTV footage entering the room around 1am.
“He is a good friend of one of the respondents and then we believed he arranged for the use of the rooms because he was on duty at the time of the incident and he admitted… It was confirmed by the CCTV that he was inside the room from 1am to 6am of January 1,” Reyes said.
Reyes said the mother of Dacera is also contemplating filing a case against the hotel for violating the IATF rules.
He said they also have a problem with the Makati City Police Station for allowing one respondents to be released from their custody.
Around 11am on Tuesday, one of the respondents, Rey Englis, informed the police that he will surrender and give his statement. However, upon arriving at the police station, Englis changed his mind informing the authorities that it was the advice of his lawyer and he went home.
Reyes told the other respondents who remain at-large to surrender and clear their name.
“I believe that if they know what is good for them so that no harm will come to them… They should surrender and explain their side. We just want to know the truth, who assaulted Christine, who spiked her drink, and who is the cause of her death because the aneurysm they are saying can only be a result of assault. That is our stand,” he said.
As to the claim of the victim’s friend that they are all members of the LGBTQ community, Tuliao said they should prove it to the court.
That is evidentiary by nature… If they are vouching on that, they must submit to the jurisdiction of the prosecutor or if this case goes higher, to the jurisdiction of the court,” he said.
The family is also appealing to the public to stop blaming Dacera on the incident.
In the same press conference, Dacera’s mother, Sharon, said she will fight for her daughter’s justice.
“I will fight for my daughter… Those who did this to my daughter should be punished,” she said.
Sharon said her daughter is a graduate from University of the Philippines- Davao.
“I call those who are involved in the accident that happened to my daughter, if you are all innocent, show yourselves. If you want to prove that you are not at fault, show yourselves… While you are not showing, we will believe that you raped my daughter,” she said.
The victim’s mother also asked help from President Rodrigo Duterte.
Dacera was found unconscious in the bathtub of a hotel room on New Year’s Day.
Hotel staff tried to revive her and immediately brought her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead by the doctors.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they arrested three of the suspects and are facing charges for rape with homicide.
Police are searching for the other suspects. Ella Dionisio/DMS