The Makati City Prosecutor’s Office ordered the release of three individuals who were earlied tagged as suspects in the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.

According to Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento, the local prosecutor’s office referred for a preliminary investigation to further discover if Dacera was raped and/or killed and, if so, whether the identified suspects were responsible.

John Pascual Dela Serna III, Rommel Galido, and John Paul Halili who are currently facing a criminal complaint for rape with homicide were already released from detention. 

Other suspects who are currently at large will also undergo the same preliminary investigation on January 13 where prosecutors will determine whether there is sufficient basis to file charges against them in court.

Dacera was found dead in a bathtub of a Makati hotel room on January 1 where she celebrated New Year’s Eve with friends. 

Her reported cause of death was a ruptured aortic aneurysm while her family said that she was drugged and sexually abused. 

Since her family was unconvinced that Dacera had died of natural causes, they sought another autopsy from an independent medico-legal officer. 

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the National Bureau of Investigation is also supporting the Philippine National Police in defining Dacera’s “true cause of death.”

Meanwhile, Assistant City Prosecutor Joan Bolina-Santillan said that some matters remained unclear in a three-page inquest resolution.

“At this point, the pieces of evidence so far submitted are insufficient to establish that she was sexually assaulted or raped. And, if sexual assault/rape was committed, who is/are the person/s responsible?” the prosecutor wrote. 

She explained that the evidence was not enough to prove the “exact cause of death,” whether this was because of the alleged rape, and, if so, whether the tagged suspects were the culprit.

Bolina-Santillan also mentioned that they are still waiting for the police to submit the results of the DNA analysis, toxicology/chemical analysis and histopath examination. 

“Hence, a conduct of preliminary investigation is necessary,” Santillan wrote.

City Prosecutor Dindo Venturanza approved the resolution. Ronald dela Cruz