MANILA (3RD UPDATE) - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday filed several criminal charges against companions of flight attendant Christine Dacera at the Makati hotel where she had spent her final hours.
The NBI Death Investigation Division filed obstruction of justice charges against Mark Rosales, Rommel Galido, John Dela Serna, Gregorio De Guzman, Jezreel Rapinan, Alain Chen, Reymay Englis, and Darwin Macalla, who partied with Dacera at the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City prior to her death on New Year's Day.
The NBI said they were charged for “giving false or fabricated information to mislead or prevent the law enforcement agencies from apprehending the offenders.”
The NBI also filed an obstruction of justice charge against their legal counsel Neptali Maroto, and found evidence to recommend charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide against Dela Serna, Rapinan, Chen, and Louie De Lima.
In a press conference Friday, Zylykha Marie Corales Deramo of the NBI said that while the occupants of room 2209 did not intend to kill Dacera, they lacked "proper diligence and prudence" when Dacera had already been experiencing weakness that ultimately led to her death.
As they partied, occupants of room 2207, where Dacera, 23, had stayed momentarily, allegedly went to 2209 to tell her companions that she was vomiting and experiencing a headache.
Her companions supposedly downplayed this.
“Kung ako nakikita ko ang aking kaibigan na nagsusuka, masakit ang ulo, gagawin ko bibigyan ko ng gamot or seek immediate assistance,” Deramo said.
(If I see my friend vomiting, having headaches, I will give them medicine or seek immediate assistance.)
She said Dacera complained to those in room 2207, who she just met that night, that she was feeling numb and breathless.
Deramo continued: "Dahil sa kakaunting panahon na kasama ni Tin ang occupants ng Room 2207 ay nakita nila na humihingal at nahihrapang huminga, nagsabing numb ang kanyang katawan. And yet 'yung occupants ng room 2209 who were with her for such a long time failed to observe the littlest of these details, which to us is very impossible."
(In the short time Dacera was with the occupants of Room 2207, they saw her panting and having a hard time breathing, she even said that her body was feeling numb. And yet, the occupants of Room 2209, who were with her for such a long time failed to observe the littlest of these details, which to us is very impossible.)
She added: “You did not intend to kill anybody but the omission to the proper diligence and prudence at that time and place… You are liable in the law kaya namin sila kinasuhan."
The NBI also recommended filing perjury charges against Galido, Dela Serna and Macalla.
Rosales and Galido are, meanwhile, facing illegal drug charges after the NBI investigation showed that both Rosales and Galido allegedly tried to deliver or give away illegal drugs at the New Year party. Rosales is also facing a separate charge for allegedly introducing the party drugs to his companions.
"There was presence of dangerous drugs, fluoromethamphetamine 'yung suka doon sa room 2209. We have testimonial pieces of evidence and then itong forensic report ng SOCO, and then mayroon din itong (there is this) testimony galing kay (from) Jake Esperon that he was offered illegal drugs and it was also testified that Mark showed him powdered drugs. He pulled the powdered drugs from his socks," NBI Spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said at the briefing.
The NBI also filed falsification of public documents charges against Southern Police District Medico Legal Officer Police Maj. Michael Sarmiento, who conducted the autopsy on Dacera.
Dacera was found unconscious and without a pulse in a bathtub at the Makati hotel 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.
Dacera and her friends had booked Room 2209 at City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City to ring in the New Year. According to CCTV footage, they went back and forth to Room 2207 after being introduced to guests there.
The PNP, in a medico-legal report, said Dacera died of natural causes, ruling out that her death on New Year’s day was a crime after initially suspecting rape and homicide against her companions. This was later on refuted by her family.
The NBI also said Dacera’s friends did not give their statements despite multiple attempts for a request.
However, they can still explain their side with the fiscal.
ABS-CBN News also tried to seek the side of those facing charges, but they declined to give a statement pending the copy of the case filed by the NBI. — reports from Niko Baua and Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News