Prosecutors have cleared 11 men of rape and homicide complaints in the case of the death of 23-year-old flight attendant Christine Dacera, who was found unresponsive in a hotel bathtub in Makati on January 1 after a party gone wrong.
In a 19-page resolution issued on Tuesday, the Makati prosecutors said they found no probable cause to charge the 11 individuals of rape.
Those cleared of rape with homicide are John Pascual dela Serna III, Rommel Galido, John Paul Halili, Gregorio Angelo Rafel De Guzman, Jezreel Rapinan, Alain Chen, Mark Anthony Rosales, Reymar Englis, Louie Delima, Jamyr Orris Cunanan, and Eduard Pangilinan III.
The resolution was signed by Assistant City Prosecutor Joan Bolina-Santillan and approved by Deputy City Prosecutor Henry Salazar and City Prosecutor Dindo Venturanza.
The complainant, Dacera's mother Sharon, had submitted a medico-legal report supposedly showing "deep healed lacerations" in the young woman's genital area.
But the prosecutors said the report "is insufficient to prove that penile penetration or carnal knowledge was committed immediately prior to examination."
They said the analysis showed there was "no mixed DNA observed" in Dacera's underwear.
"While it may be true that rape may be committed through sexual assault, however, the DNA analysis of the vaginal swabbing proved that no other DNA came in contact with the deceased, thus, negates the allegation of rape either by carnal knowledge or by sexual assault," said the prosecutors.
Dacera and her gay male friends drank into the morning of New Year’s Day. Afterwards, the flight attendant had vomiting fits and fell asleep on the bathtub of the hotel room.
The resolution narrated details of how her friends-turned-suspects tried to transfer her to the bed, until the afternoon when one of them woke up and saw Dacera's lips turning black.
The complainants had also submitted a medico-legal report that showed the presence of semen in two of the beddings of Room 2209, the hotel room of Dacera and most of her friends.
The other room, where Dacera went back and forth to join the party of other men – who were also mostly gay, according to the respondents – was Room 2207.
"The specimen subject of the medico-legal report was extracted from a white blanket and white beddings from Room 2009 without any indication that the beddings were specifically the ones used by the deceased. The mere presence of semen in these beddings does not prove that rape was committed," said the prosecutors.
Dacera's mother had also alleged that Christine's drink was spiked, but a chemistry report did not provide "conclusive presumption," said the prosecutors.
"The specimen in the chemistry report was taken from Room 2209 and not specifically from the deceased or from her clothing as to provide us with a conclusive presumption that indeed that the deceased or any of the respondents used fluoromethamphetamine or methamphetamine or that the deceased's drink was spiked," said the prosecutors.
The Dacera family is said to be considering other options following the resolution.
“There are many options on our part. The Dacera family can go to the
Department of Justice to appeal this dismissal or we can refile these cases, we can refile the drug case, we can refile the rape case," said lawyer Brick Reyes, spokesperson of the Dacera family.
“We are not going to say amen to this dismissal because we are looking for truth and justice not only for Christine Dacera," he added.