MANILA — The death of flight attendant Christine Dacera at a Makati hotel on New Year's Day is "obviously" not a closed case, Malacañang said on Thursday, even as the Philippine National Police claimed that it had "solved" her alleged rape and killing.
The PNP identified 11 suspects who celebrated the New Year with Dacera before she was found dead in a hotel. The suspects, who have self-identified as gay, said they had no reason to hurt her.
The Makati City Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday ordered the release of 3 suspects from police custody, saying more evidence is needed to prove that 23-year-old Dacera was raped and killed.
"Iyong mga ebidensyang hiningi ng piskal ay tinatawag nating physical evidence relating to DNA... In my 30 years of practice as a private prosecutor, mas mabuti talaga itong physical evidence dahil hindi po 'yan nagsisinungaling, hindi masusuhulan, hindi matatakot," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
(The evidence required by the prosecutor is what we call physical evidence relating to DNA. In my 30 years of practice as a private prosecutor, physical evidence is really better because that does not lie, it can't be bribed, it can't be intimidated.)
"Obviously po, dahil may hinihingi pang ebidensya ang ating piskal, case is not yet closed," he told reporters in an online briefing..
(Obviously, because our prosecutor is still asking for evidence, the case is not yet closed.)
Video courtesy of PTV
Should there be evidence that a crime was committed, President Rodrigo Duterte's administration "assures that the offenders thereof, regardless of who they are, will be dealt with in accordance with law that justice may be served," his chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo earlier said.
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 findings and describing it as incomplete.