Christine Dacera: CCTV footage shows flight attendant barefoot talking to three men hours before her rape and murder
On Monday, January 4, it was reported that police had charged 11 men with rape and murder of Christine Angelica Dacera, a 23-year-old flight attendant, who was found unconscious in an empty bathtub of a Makati hotel room in the Philippines, where she and her friends were celebrating New Year's Eve. On January 5, GMA News, a Philippines-based news network reported screengrabs of CCTV footage, which showed the hours leading up to her death. The footage reportedly showed Dacera with male friends in the hallway outside her hotel room.
In one screenshot dated December 31, 2020, 11:38 pm, she was seen carrying her heels and a wine glass beside two men outside Room 2209. In another screengrab, dated January 1, 3:22 am, she was seen barefoot talking to three men, while one other man was looking on at them from the doorway of a room. Just seconds later, Dacera could be seen talking to one man, while two other men were seen walking away and three other men were looking on from the end of the hallway. The Makati hotel is yet to release a statement on the incident.
Eight of the 11 men charged are absconding.
Manila Metro police chief Police Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr. announced, "If you have nothing to hide, then for sure I would advise you to voluntarily surrender yourselves in the police station. In case you are scared to surrender by yourselves, you can bring your lawyers with you," and stressed again how that there was no need to be scared if they did not have anything to hide.
As per reports, the Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight attendant was at the party with a few of her colleagues. One of them, Rommel Galida, reported that he woke up at around 10 am and found Dacera asleep in the bathtub. Galida said he put a blanket over her and returned to bed but when he woke up a few hours later, she was unconscious and turning blue.
Galida reportedly claimed that he had called for help and coworkers tried to revive Dacera. The young woman was declared dead after being rushed to the hospital. Detectives said an investigation is ongoing and the autopsy results are pending. Cops reportedly found bruises and cuts on her body, including on her thighs and knees. Philippine National Police Chief Director Debold Sinas named 27-year-old John Pascual Dela Serna III, 29-year-old Galida, and 25-year-old John Paul Reyes Halili, as suspects arrested and charged with “rape with homicide.”
Sinas, as per local news reports, also said that authorities were looking for eight other people who were with Dacera at the hotel on the night before her death. Makati City Police Station Chief Colonel Harold Depositar told the media that the rape charge was due to the victim having “lacerations and sperm in her genitalia.” Depositar reportedly later said that Dacera’s cause of death was a ruptured aortic aneurysm, officially labeling her death a “rape-slay.”
Dacera’s family told the media that they think she was forced to use banned substances during the party. Dacera’s mother Sharon said her daughter had asked her permission before attending the New Year’s Eve party. She said she allowed her daughter to go because she would be with friends and she trusted them. Dacera reportedly called her mother shortly after midnight on January 1, and 12 hours later a friend called her to tell her Dacera had died. Depositar said three of the men were the victim’s friends. “The others were practically strangers to her, as they were only known to her three friends,” he said.
PAL issued a statement following the death: “PAL Express mourns the tragic death of a flight attendant last January 1 during New Year revelry in Makati City. The flight attendant, whose identity we are not at liberty to disclose at this time, was an upstanding and professional PAL Express crew member who will be sorely missed by her colleagues and friends. Our desire is for the truth to come out in the interest of justice.”