FOR lack of probable cause, the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday junked the rape and homicide case filed against 11 persons for the death of flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera.
Assistant City Prosecutor Joan Bolina-Santillan ruled there was insufficient evidence to establish probable cause for rape and homicide. The 23-year-old stewardess was found unconscious in a bathtub at the City Garden Hotel on New Year’s Day.
“After a careful scrutiny of the evidence presented and despite the period of time given to submit proof to establish complainant’s charges, none of the evidence submitted proved a crime was committed,” the prosecution said.
The respondents were John Pascual de la Serna, Rommel Galido, John Paul Halili, Gigo de Guzman, Clark Rapinan, Valentine Rosales, Mark Anthony Rosales, Reymar Englis, Louie Delima, Jamyr Orris Cunanan and Eduard Pangilinan.
While the January 3 medicolegal findings found “deep healed lacerations,” it was insufficient to prove penile penetration was committed “immediately prior to the examination,” the prosecution said.
It added the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis of Dacera’s vaginal swabbing and her underwear showed no other DNA “came in contact” with the deceased.
Semen was also extracted on the beddings and blanket in Room 2209 but there was no indication the beddings were used by Dacera.
“The mere presence of semen in these beddings does not prove a rape was committed,” the prosecution said.
As for homicide allegations, the prosecution gave weight to the findings of the certificate of death and two medicolegal reports prepared by Dr. Nick Sarmiento and Dr. Joseph Palmero, which pointed out the cause of death of Dacera was “ruptured aortic aneurysm,” which “negates homicide.”
The prosecution said there was no evidence to show Christine’s drink was spiked, which Rommel and JP initially stated but later retracted, citing pressure from the Makati police.
In March, the National Bureau of Investigation recommended the filing of charges against some of the respondents based on the results of its own inquiry and autopsy. Among the cases were reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and perjury but there were no rape charges filed, as the National Bureau of Investigation admitted lack of evidence.
Some of the respondents also filed countercharges against Dacera’s mother, Sharon and the Philippine National Police for perjury, libel, cyberlibel and malicious prosecution among other charges.
Rosales heaved a sigh of relief from the ruling of the prosecution.
“Truth prevailed,” Rosales said on Facebook. “Thank you, God, for the answered prayers.”