MANILA -- Financial support has ballooned for the four persons of interest in the controversial Christine Dacera case two days after they appealed on social media for donations for their legal defense.
“Nakakagulat, ang dami nang nagbigay, pati na mga ordinaryong tao na magsasabi na ‘pasensya na kayo. beinte pesos lang ang mabibigay ko muna,'" singer-businesswoman Claire de la Fuente told ABSCBN News Monday.
De la Fuente is the mother of Gregorio “Gigo” de Guzman, one of the persons of interest in the Dacera alleged rape homicide case, and de facto spokesperson of other persons of interest who are friends of her son.
The singer declined to reveal the donations at this time, only indicating that at the latest time, it has reached six figures. De la Fuente also refused to name personalities supporting the fund drive, citing possible reactions of social media bashers.
Even now, netizens are questioning the propriety of the fund drive.
“Ang importante 'yung tiwala nilang binigay, big donor or not.
Kahit na may nagbigay na maliit na halaga, okay lang, malaking bagay na yon," said de la Fuente who earlier cited the need for financial aid for Rommel Galido, JP Dela Serna, Clark Rapinan and Valentine Rosales.
“Ang anak ko, kaya niya ang costs ng legal defense pero itong mga batang ito, wala namang masyadong kaya sa buhay for a long and costly legal defense, kailangan pa nilang mag-donation drive,” she earlier told ABS-CBN News.
The singer had earlier vouched for the innocence of her son, a chef and fitness coach.
On Saturday, Rosales, one of Dacera’s close friends whom she kissed at the tragic New Year revelry in a Makati hotel, posted his appeal on Instagram to support their fund sourcing.
“I would like to ask for your help to raise funds for me and my fellow friends who are struggling to finance a lawyer in assisting us in this situation and effectively defend us. Any amount of donation will mean a lot & will be appreciated. Thank you,” he stated, also citing the fact that they can no longer go out to work amid tremendous public scrutiny.
The sensational case has attracted the attention of many celebrities who flip-flopped on their initial reactions of condemnation against the parties of interest after doubts were raised on initial pronouncements alleging Dacera was a rape-slay victim.
Comedy queen Aiai de las Alas, who’s not a stranger to social media bashing, also cites the cruelty of netizens in the controversy. “Iba na talaga ang social media. 'Yung trial by publicity ganun ganun na lang. Sana bago lumabas ang mga balita, hinimay-himay muna ng mga netizen ang mga issues. Huwag tayo judgmental," she told a virtual conference Monday for the renewal of her contract with Hobe pancit.
“Hindi ako sumasawsaw sa issue, I was only asked ,” she clarified. “Pero bilang nanay, masakit talagang mawalan ng anak. Ilalaban ko rin anak ko sa sinapit n'ya. 'Yung mga LGBT persons of interest, kawawa rin naman. Paano na sila makakabalik sa buhay pagkatapos laitin ang kanilang pagkatao, pati na pamilya nila?"
More than the fund sourcing for their legal defense, de las Alas urged the persons of interest in the Dacera case to get support from legal advocacy groups.
“Humingi din sila ng tulong sa Public Attorneys Office (PAO), sa Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) at sa iba pang lawyer na may gender advocacy,” she advised.