MANILA - Five respondents in Christine Dacera's death said Wednesday the police did not read their Miranda rights before they were detained or investigated over the incident.
Dacera, a 23-year-old flight attendant, was found unconscious in a bathtub in a hotel in Makati City on Jan. 1 following a night of partying to celebrate the New Year.
Her companions reportedly attempted to revive her but she was declared dead upon arrival at the Makati Medical Center.
In an interview with TV personality Boy Abunda, Dacera's companions Rommel Galido, Clark Rapinan, Valentine Rosales, JP Dela Serna, and Gregorio Angelo De Guzman said in unison the police did not read their Miranda rights before they were brought for questioning over Dacera's death.
"Binasahan ba kayo ng Miranda rights?" Abunda asked.
"Hindi po," they said.
Mike Santiago, legal counsel of the suspects, said reading of the Miranda rights is an important requirement.
"If you will read the statement, 'yung (police) preliminary statement … it would say there na matapos silang basahan ng kanilang karapatan ayon sa batas, sila'y tinanong, which is basically their Miranda rights," he said.
Under the Philippine Constitution, police arrest in the country requires the reading of the Miranda doctrine to suspects as it provides them awareness of rights, such as to remain silent and to get a lawyer.
The Philippine National Police has been criticized for its supposed mishandling of the Dacera case. Netizens slammed PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas after he declared and insisted Dacera’s case "solved" as a rape-slay, even though evidence showed otherwise.
An autopsy report earlier said the cause of death was ruptured aortic aneurysm. All of the suspects also maintained that the allegations there was rape involved was false, claiming they are gay.
A women's rights advocate and lawyer from the University of the Philippines earlier urged the PNP on Wednesday to be "be more circumspect in putting out information" regarding the case of flight attendant.