Respondents to file counter charges against Dacera family

Robie de Guzman   •   March 15, 2021   •   1606

MANILA, Philippines – Companions of flight attendant Christine Dacera at a Makati Hotel where she was found unconscious on January 1 will file counter charges against her family, their legal counsel said Monday.

Lawyer Mike Santiago, who represents five of the 11 respondents in the case, said his clients are contemplating filing perjury, and malicious incrimination or prosecution charges against the camp of Dacera for allegedly making unfounded claims against them. They will also seek moral damages.

Santiago said they will also take legal action against some personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for alleged injustices committed against his clients.

“We’re no longer taking this on the defensive side na lang. We will face also these accusers head on na lagi lang kaming depensa ng depensa eh,” he said.

“Ang kalaban namin is yung family and right now it seems tahimik na sila but bakit pati yung NBI ang daming nakikisawsaw sa isyu na ‘to? Ang daming kailangang tuonan ng pansin ng bansa hindi lang itong case na ‘to,” Alain Chen, one of the respondents in the case, said.

The NBI last Friday filed perjury, obstruction of justice, reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act against Dacera’s companions, hours before her death on January 1.

The NBI also recommended filing an obstruction of justice against their legal counsel, Neptali Maroto, and falsification of an official document by a public officer charges against Southern Police District medico-legal officer Michael Nick Sarmiento, who first conducted the autopsy on Dacera’s remains.

But the respondents questioned the complaints, calling it an overkill and the NBI investigation unfair.

“Sino ba ang kalaban talaga ng mga respondent? Una PNP pati si chief PNP up to the chief when he said case closed. Kala ko ba case closed na? Next, sino ba ang Dacera family ba? Ang PNP ba? NBI? All of the above?” Santiago said.

The lawyer said they are not inclined to enter into an amicable settlement.

Santiago also questioned the reckless imprudence resulting in homicide complaint filed against his clients as this only applies to erring drivers and doctors.

On the violation of the dangerous drugs act, the lawyer said his clients tested negative for illegal drug use.

Dacera was found unconscious in a bathtub at a Makati Hotel room on January 1 after a night of merry-making with friends. Her companions said they tried to revive her and rushed her to a hospital where she was later declared dead.

Her family believes she was drugged and sexually abused.

The PNP said in its medico-legal report that Dacera died of natural causes, ruling out homicide as the cause of death. The report stated that she died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm that was triggered by an increase in blood pressure. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Suspected MILF lost command member nabbed in Zamboanga del Norte – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A suspected member of the notorious lost command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was arrested in Zamboanga del Norte, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Friday.

In a statement, PNP chief General Debold Sinas identified the suspect as 37-year old Kayser Martinez alias Alihamra Martinez, who was said to be a former member of the MILF lost command group operating in Siocon and Sirawai towns in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Martinez was arrested on Wednesday during an operation jointly conducted by elements of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 9 and Siocon Municipal Police Station by virtue of warrant of arrest under criminal case number 232 for the crime of multiple murder issued by the RTC 9, Branch 6, of Dipolog City, Zamboanga Del Norte.

Citing court records, Sinas said Martinez was involved in the massacre of four civilians last August 3, 1999, in Sitio Guisakan, Barangay D. Reconalla, Siocon, Zamboanga Del Norte with his former MILF Lost Command Leaders Hairulla Hassan alias Hayron Hassan and Eddie Namenso alias Commander Liwayway.

They were also among the perpetrators of the daring attack on Siocon municipality last May 4, 2003, that resulted in casualties and damages in the municipality.

Currently, Martinez is a member of Hassan Group criminal gang allegedly led by Anderson Hassan alias Commander Sabaya, cousin of former notorious leader Hairulla Hassan who are at the same time eminently monitored tying up with the Local Terrorist Groups (LTGs) based in Panabutan, Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte.

“Manhunt operations against the leader and other members of the criminal gang are underway to prevent them from further victimizing innocent people,” Sinas said.

Martinez is presently detained for further interrogation.

Appropriate charges will be filed against him in court, the PNP said.

Suspected BIFF bomber nabbed in Maguindanao police ops

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The man allegedly behind the series of bombing incidents in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat has been arrested in a counter-terrorism operation, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.

PNP chief General Debold Sinas identified the suspect as Norton Saptula, 23, an alleged member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter-Karialan Faction under chief staff Sukarno Sapal alias Diok.

He was said to be involved in the bombing incidents that transpired on August 28, 2018 in Brgy. Kalawag 3, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat that resulted in 36 wounded civilians and three deaths.

He was also accused of involvement in another incident on September 2, 2018 in Brgy. Kalawag 2, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat that resulted in 14 wounded civilians and two deaths.

Sinas said Saptula was also the 5th most wanted person in the SOCCSKSARGEN Region.

He was arrested on Wednesday in Poblacion, Ampatuan, Maguindanao when operating troops served a warrant of arrest against him for three counts of complex crime of murder with multiple frustrated murder.

The PNP said Saptula was booked at Ampatuan Municipal Police Station and was turned over to Isulan Municipal Police Station for documentation and proper disposition.

“The arrest of Saptula is a setback in the atrocities of the BIFF operating in Maguindanao area and nearby provinces. Moreover, this successful operation would likely affect the planned attacks of local and foreign terrorist organizations,” Sinas said.

Sinas says PNP won’t interfere with ‘private sector initiatives’

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold Sinas has assured the public that police will not interfere with any ‘voluntary private sector initiative’ that seeks to provide the basic needs of people severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sinas did not explicitly mention community pantries in various parts of the country but he said the PNP “fully supports such expression of Bayanihan culture and Filipino spirit of compassion.”

“Hindi makikialam ang PNP sa aktibidad ng mga pribadong grupo na mamahagi ng ayuda sa mga tao,” he said in a statement.

“[W]e will continue to extend utmost assistance to ensure smooth and orderly operations of private sector outreach activities with greater emphasis on the health and safety of both benefactors and beneficiaries of these public endeavors,” he added.

The PNP chief, however, slammed “apparent attempts by certain quarters to create mass hysteria by propagating falsehood and fake news over cyberspace.”

“These persons will be unmasked, investigated and their motives probed,” he said.

“Hindi namin palalampasin ang ganitong pagpapalaganap ng kasinungalingan upang magsulong ng kanilang layunin,” he added.

Sinas’ statement comes after an organizer of a community pantry in Quezon City claimed of being “red-tagged” by government authorities.

The PNP chief also promoted their similar efforts in giving to those in need, saying the continuing implementation of the PNP Food Bank Project has benefitted some 35,512 families and 8,511 other individuals.

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