2 respondents in Dacera case retract statement on ‘powder drugs’ during party – lawyer

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2021   •   242

MANILA, Philippines Two of the respondents in the Christine Dacera case have retracted their earlier statements on the alleged presence of ‘powder drugs’ during a party on December 31 in a Makati hotel.

According to Abby Portugal, one of the lawyers of five respondents, her clients were only “pressured” by the Makati police to make such a statement.

“Napilitan lang kasi may pressure sila during that time, dalawa po yung amin si JP dela Serna and Rommel Galido […] According to them, the Makati police,” she said.

It was earlier reported that one of the respondents said in a sworn statement that another respondent brought ‘powder drugs’ at the party attended by Dacera.

Portugal said their clients, namely, John Paul dela Serna III, Rommel Galido, Gregorio Angelo Rafael de Guzman, Valentine Rosales, and Clark Rapinan, have maintained that they did not use illegal drugs during their gathering and that they have tested negative in a drug test.

The Makati City Prosecutor’s Office has started Wednesday its preliminary investigation into the complaint lodged against 11 individuals who were with Dacera hours before she died on January 1 following a night of partying with some friends.

The respondents are facing a complaint for rape with homicide.

The office said 7 out of 11 respondents and their legal counsels attended Wednesday’s hearing. Five of them submitted their counter-affidavit.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has submitted a supplemental complaint but manifested that it is still awaiting results of the DNA analysis, histopath examination, and laboratory results from Makati Medical Center, it added.

“Hence, they moved for the resetting of the preliminary investigation,” it said.

Three of the respondents were initially detained by police but was ordered released by the City Prosecutor’s Office after it referred the case for further investigation to allow both the complainant and the respondents to submit more evidence.

The next hearing will be on January 27. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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