Dacera case: DOT revokes Makati hotel's authority to operate, cites 'bad faith'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 14 2021 05:41 PM

City Garden Grand Hotel. ABS-CBN News/File

But 'status quo' in operations to continue pending final ruling

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday revoked the operation certificate of City Garden Grand Hotel (CGGH) in Makati City, where flight attendant Christine Dacera was found unconscious on January 1 after a night of partying and was later declared dead at a hospital.

The DOT said it canceled the hotel's Certificate of Authority to Operate as it was "liable" for gross and evident bad faith when it falsely claimed to be a facility that was allowed to accommodate guests for leisure or staycation purposes.

"In the course of the investigation, DOT-NCR considered other evidence which were not limited to the circumstances surrounding the incident on 31 December 2020... The pieces of evidence showed that even prior to the incident and until now, the CGGH is marketing packages to accept leisure guests," the DOT said, adding CGGH was classified as a quarantine facility. 

The DOT said the accreditation of City Garden hotel, a quarantine facility, is also suspended for 6 months and is asked to pay a fine of P10,000 for quarantine violations.

"CGGH has the right to appeal within the period prescribed by the DOT rules and regulations," DOT said.

Asked if the status quo would continue pending an appeal, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said "yes." 

This means the hotel can continue operations pending final ruling.

The hotel had earlier denied it violated DOT guidelines, arguing that Dacera and her companions booked 3 rooms (2207, 2209 and 2009) under "corporate accounts."

Dacera, 23, and her friends were able to book a room at CGGH on December 31 to ring in the new year. 

She was found unconscious and without a pulse in a bathtub around 12:30 p.m. on January 1 after a night of partying. Her friends said they tried to revive her and brought her to the Makati Medical Center, where she was later declared dead.

While her cause of death was ruptured aortic aneurysm, police believe she was raped and killed, tagging her company that night as suspects. The men, all of whom were Dacera's friends, denied wrongdoing. 

The flight attendant's death has sparked outrage, with some legislators saying the supposed crime justifies the reimposition of capital punishment in the country. 

- report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News