Suspect in Dacera case: New Year party companions were gay, had no reason to hurt her

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 06 2021 01:10 AM | Updated as of Jan 06 2021 04:24 AM

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MANILA—One of the suspects in the alleged rape-slay of Christine Dacera, the flight attendant who was found dead inside a Makati hotel on New Year’s Day, said Tuesday he couldn't find any reason that her friends, including him, would want to harm her.

Dacera, 23, was found dead in a bathtub with bruises on her body and lacerations in her genital area after celebrating the New Year at a hotel room with friends.

Her family’s spokesman earlier said that before her death, some 10 individuals were drinking liquor in the room with her on Jan. 31, while 7 people who later joined her and her friends, stayed in a room close by.

Gregorio de Guzman, one of the 11 suspects in the Dacera case, said everybody loved and "cherished" her, and that everyone around her at the time was a member of the LGBT community.

"Kasi lahat po sila mga bakla na nakikisali sa kaniya. For me po kasi, parang ang impression kasi niya mahilig siya makipag-hang out kagaya namin [LGBT]. Komportable po siya sa amin. Kasi the entire time po, komportableng-komportable siya sa isa't isa sa amin," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(Every one of them was gay. My impression of her is she likes to hang out with us, LGBT members. She's comfortable with us. The entire time she was really comfortable with every one of us.)

De Guzman refuted the reported statement of the Makati police chief that "gays are still men, especially if they're intoxicated."

"For me po, never po ako nagkaroon ng sexual relations sa isang babae. Never po ako tinayuan sa isang babae. Palagi pong lalaki. Madami po makaka-testify niyan," he said.

(For me, I've never had sexual relations with a woman. I've never been aroused by a woman. Always a man. Many can testify to that.)

De Guzman, son of singer Claire dela Fuente, earlier said that he just started to know Dacera on that fateful New Year's eve celebration.

The police initially ruled the cause of Dacera's death as ruptured aortic aneurysm after an autopsy. 

But Dacera's camp said it would also conduct another autopsy, challenging the initial autopsy and describing it as incomplete. 

The case currently has 11 identified respondents in the complaint. Philippine National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana earlier said 3 suspects have already been arrested over the alleged rape-slay.

Some 7 “unidentified respondents,” meanwhile, need to be questioned and investigated, Dacera's camp said.