MANILA - The country's top cop on Tuesday threatened to "hunt down" the suspects in the alleged rape-slay of Christine Dacera, the flight attendant who was found dead in a Makati hotel on New Year’s Day, if they didn't turn their selves in within 3 days.
"This is a fair warning. Surrender within seventy-two (72) hours or we will hunt you down using force if necessary," Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas in a statement.
He added: “We know who you are. Your family must turn you over to the police. Those found to be abetting your escape will also be arrested.”
But PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana in an interview said the suspects should just explain their side regarding the tragic incident.
"Kung wala naman po silang kasalanan, dapat nagpapakita na po sila right away," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(If they have no involvement, they should just show up right away.)
Usana said the police won't immediately arrest the suspects if they don't show up within 3 days.
"Subsequently, 'di naman sila talaga aarestuhin agad ano. Meron pong gagawin ang pulis para maging basis kung sila po ay ma-include po sa sinasagawang imbestigasyon dahil nakuha na po ang kanilang identity," he said.
(Subsequently, they won't really be arrested immediately. The police will have something to base on if they will be included in the ongoing investigation since their identities have already been logged.)
"Wala pong basis dahil wala pong arrest warrant po."
(There's no basis since there's no arrest warrant.)
But Usana said 3 suspects have already been arrested over the rape-slay.
Dacera, 23, was found dead in a bathtub with bruises on her body and lacerations in her genital area after celebrating the New Year with in a hotel room with her friends.
In a press briefing, lawyer Brick Reyes, the Dacera family’s spokesman, said that some 10 individuals were in the room on Jan. 31, while 7 people, who later on joined Dacera and her friends in the same room, stayed in a room close by.
The case currently has 11 identified respondents in the complaint.
Some 7 “unidentified respondents,” meanwhile, need to be questioned and investigated, Reyes said.