MANILA

Charges eyed vs hotel for withholding names of room 2207 occupants

NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Vicente Danao Jr. said on Monday, January 11, 2021, warned that charges will be filed against the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City if the management continues to withhold the names of the occupants of Room 2207 on the night of Christine Dacera’s death.

Danao said they have yet to get the names of at least five individuals, although they have already discerned their faces.

“We will be looking at the violation committed by the hotel management lalong lalo na for not divulging immediately the names of those who booked sa room 2209 and 2207. If you refuse to cooperate we will file a case of obstruction of justice sa inyo, for withholding information which is very vital for the early solution of the case,” he said in an interview in Camp Crame.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which is conducting a parallel investigation, earlier said it has identified all the occupants of room 2207.

They will be summoned within the week, according to NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin.

The NBI has already summoned the 11 occupants of room 2209.

Dacera, a 23-year-old flight attendant, died after a New Year’s Eve party in the hotel.

Her friends, who were with her in room 2209, said she went back and forth between their room and room 2207, which was occupied by their friend Edward Madrid and his friends.

Police earlier filed rape with homicide charges against Dacera’s friends. Three were arrested and detained, but were ordered released by the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office, which ruled that there was not enough evidence to prosecute them.

An autopsy report circulated on social media said Dacera had died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

Further investigation is now being conducted into Dacera’s death.

The hotel has also been issued a show cause order to explain violations of community quarantine protocols.

Danao clarified that their investigation is aimed at ferreting out the truth.

“It doesn’t mean na pag nag-iimbestiga tayo ngayon we are pushing for the angle of rape, no. Ang gusto po natin ipalabas dito ‘yung katotohanan if there is a rape o wala bang rape kaya nga po nagi-imbestiga tayo,” he said.

PNP Chief Debold Sinas has ordered the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) to investigate the Makati police officers in charge of Dacera’s case.

Medico legal officer Michael Sarmiento, who will also be investigated, admitted that he ordered the immediate embalming of Dacera’s body prior to the conduct of autopsy without the consent of the family.

Meanwhile, Sinas denied giving special treatment to the Dacera family.

Dacera’s remains were brought to the PNP Mortuary in Camp Crame before these were flown home to General Santos City on Thursday morning.

The convoy, which carried Dacera to the burial site on Sunday, January 10, was heavily guarded by policemen and military personnel.

“Actually wala namang VIP treatment ‘yung dito. Nag-offer kami ng space kasi ‘yung PAL (Philippine Airline) employees gusto nila dumalaw before dalhin ‘yung cadaver ni Ms Christine doon sa GenSan kaya lang wala po silang makuhang lugar,” Sinas said in a press conference in Camp Crame.

To explain the heavy security during the interment, Sinas noted that Dacera’s mother, Sharon, is a military reservist.

The Philippine Marines, in a statement, said those who carried Dacera’s casket were Marine reservists.

The Marine reservists were asked to help control the crowd as a precautionary measure against coronavirus disease 2019.

Dacera’s mother had requested the 12th Regional Community Defense Group (12RCDG) commander that the reservists be in their uniform

The Marines said they saw nothing wrong in granting the family’s request for assistance.

“The actual honors and Taps bugle honor was not rendered and flag was not given as usually given to our reservists, No gun salute. No military honors were rendered during the burial of Ms. Christine Dacera. No ceremonies, no flag-draped casket, no volleys of fire that constitute interment honors,” it said. (SunStar Philippines)


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