Men in Dacera case ask lawmakers to remove bounty on their heads

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 08 2021 11:28 AM | Updated as of Jan 08 2021 04:44 PM

Yap says bounty 'moot and off the table' after suspects surrender; Pacquiao to turn reward into cash aid for Dacera family once all come forward

MANILA (UPDATE 2) - The men implicated in the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera on Friday appealed to lawmakers to recall the bounty placed on their heads as they vowed to respond to the complaint filed against them. 

ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Yap offered a P100,000 reward to anyone who can give information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects, while Sen. Manny Pacquiao offered another P500,000.

Lawyer Mike Santiago, who spoke with ANC's Headstart along with 4 of his clients, said the bounty is affecting the security of the respondents.

"We are actually appealing to Cong. Yap and to Sen. Pacquiao to recall the bounty being offered because this affects the safety and security of these gentlemen, these guys here," he said.

"Considering nga may mga sumusunod sa kanila, merong mga nagsu-surveillance or nagvi-video sa labas ng bahay nila. So, we are appealing to them na i-recall po 'yung bounty talaga," he added.

(Considering that there were people following them, who were doing surveillance or taking videos outside their homes. We are appealing to them to recall the bounty.)

Santiago also noted that there is "no need" for the monetary reward because "there's already a case."

"We are willing naman, 'yung mga kliyente namin na harapin at sagutin po ang reklamo na ito," he said.

(We are willing, our clients are willing to face and answer the complaint.)

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Clark Rapinan, one of the respondents, said it has been difficult for him and his family as there were was someone following them around when they left their home.

"Sobrang hirap po, sobrang nakakatakot. Also, sobrang hirap na nakikita 'yung parents ko na nahihirapan. Kahapon nung lumabas kami ng bahay, merong sumunod sa amin, may nagvi-video ng sinakyan naming kotse," he said in the ANC interview.

(It's very difficult, very terrifying. Also, it's hard to see my parents suffering. Yesterday, when we left the house, someone was following us, taking a video of the car we used.)

"Yung mother ko alalang-alala. Ang hirap makita silang ganun, na nahihirapan. Nakakatakot, ang hirap," he added.

(My mother is worried. It's difficult to see them like that, suffering. It's scary, it's difficult.)

In a statement, Yap said "there is no need to recall per se the bounty placed on the persons of interest" in Dacera's death as it is "now considered as moot and now off the table" after they have presented themselves to authorities.

The monetary reward was offered with the purpose to summon those involved to come out and was put out "when most of the individuals who were with Christine that night were nowhere to be found."

"The fact that there is one person who died, regardless of what transpired that night, is enough to conduct an investigation to discern the truth," he said.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, refused to withdraw his P500,000 offer, saying it will be converted into "financial aid to the family of Christine if and when all the persons of interest have voluntarily surrendered and not arrested, and have submitted themselves to investigating authorities."

"Mananatili ang aking itinakdang pabuya na nagkakahalaga ng P500,000 upang matunton ang iba pang mga sangkot sa kasong ito," he said in a statement.

(The P500,000 reward will remain to trace other persons involved in this case.)

"Kung tunay niyong kaibigan at kayo ay may malasakit kay Christine at sa kanyang nagluluksang pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay, nakikiusap ako na bigyan ninyo ng halaga ang inyong pagkakaibigan sa pamamagitan ng paglalantad sa mga totoong nangyari kaugnay sa kanyang kaso," he added.

(If you are true friends and have compassion towards Christine and her bereaved family and loved ones, I ask that you give value to your friendship by revealing what truly happened regarding her case.)

Dacera, 23, was found unconscious in the bathtub of a Makati City hotel after celebrating the New Year's Eve. She was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead-on-arrival. Her cause of death was ruptured aortic aneurysm.

Aided by the Makati City Police, Dacera’s mother, Sharon Rose Dacera, filed a complaint for rape with homicide against 11 respondents. 

Three of her companions that night were detained but later ordered released by the Makati City Prosecutor due to "insufficient evidence" pending preliminary investigation. 

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