Result on City Garden Grand Hotel probe out this week – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2021   •   186

MANILA, Philippines – Results of the investigation into the possible violations of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City, where 23-year old flight attendant Christine Dacera died after partying with some friends, is expected to be out this week, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Tuesday.

“I was hoping to give a decision today pero hindi pwedeng i-rush. But don’t worry, by this week, lalabas na yan,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a press briefing.

The Tourism department last week issued a show-cause order against the hotel, directing its management to explain in writing within three days why its accreditation should not be revoked for possible violations for continuing to accept guests for leisure purposes when it is being used as a quarantine facility.

Government regulations state that an establishment being used as a quarantine or isolation facility are not allowed to provide accommodation for leisure purposes.

Puyat said the hotel already responded to the show-cause order and that the department conducted a physical investigation into the establishment last Friday.

She, however, declined to give any information about it but assured they are thoroughly probing the issue.

The tourism chief also assured that the DOT will do what is fair and just.

The hotel previously insisted that it claims no liability in Dacera’s death and that it is compliant with government policies. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Christine Dacera case: 12 occupants from room 2207 appear before NBI

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Twelve individuals who stayed at room 2207 in a Makati City Hotel have appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in connection to the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.

NBI Spokesperson Atty Ferdinand Lavin said the 12, who came along with their legal counsels, underwent over 10 hours of question and answer investigation by the NBI experts.

“They opted that they will come  again altogether, sama-sama sila with counsels so everyone is to witness how the investigation proceeds as against all of them, nakikita nung iba paanong iniimbestigahan sila,” Lavin said.

It was learned that Dacera and some of her friends rented room 2209 of the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati to celebrate the new year and that they mingled with the occupants of room 2207.

In CCTV footages, Dacera and some of her friends were seen going back and forth between the two rooms on the night of December 31.

Dacera was found unconscious last Jan. 1 in the bathtub of room 2209. She was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Respondent John Pascual dela Serna, in his counter-affidavit submitted to the Makati Prosecutor’s Office, said they went to room 2207 after they were invited by another respondent, Ed Madrid, who knew the occupants there.

Lavin said investigators have also invited the individuals who stayed with Dacera at room 2209 as part of their ongoing probe.

“They have their lawyers so may counsel dito, and we thank them for their cooperation. Hindi pa tapos ito, and the statements would be validated against the pieces of evidence,” he said.

The Department of Justice last week ordered the NBI to help in the investigation into the death of Dacera. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

DOT imposes penalties vs City Garden Grand Hotel

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday (January 14) served a six-month suspension and a P10,000 fine on City Garden Grand Hotel (CGGH) for misrepresenting itself to the public.

The Tourism Department also revoked its Certificate of Authority to Operate.

In a statement, the DOT said the CGGH “misrepresented itself to the public as being allowed to accommodate guests for leisure or staycation purposes despite being a quarantine facility.”

Under DOT Administrative Order No. 2020-002-C, hotels operating as quarantine facilities are prohibited from accepting guests for leisure purposes.

Based on the resolution dated January 14, the CGGH in Makati City is liable for the offense of gross and evident bad faith in dealing with clients/fraudulent solicitation of business or making any false, deceptive, or misleading claims or statements.

Aside from the New Year’s Eve Party which led to the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera, the hotel also reportedly have marketing packages to accept leisure guests and never indicated that it is a quarantine hotel.

Meanwhile, the CGGH can file an appeal within the period prescribed by the DOT rules and regulations.

The Tourism Department also warned all accredited accommodation establishments (AEs) to confine their operations to the authority given them, limited to just one per given time. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Dacera’s camp claims cover-up

Marje Pelayo   •   January 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The family of Christine Dacera is optimistic about the new evidence obtained by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

On Tuesday (January 12), the NBI said they were able to get urine samples inside Christine’s body contrary to the previous result of the autopsy conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the flight attendant’s bladder was empty.

According to Atty. Brick Reyes, spokesperson of the Dacera family, authorities will be able to determine if Christine was given illegal drugs through the urine samples.

“Naniniwala sila that (They believed) Christine was drugged. Nabigyan ng droga (She was given drugs) against her will and eventually she was sexually molested,” Reyes said.

They further claim there was a cover up in the case.

“They believed that there was a cover-up, at tsaka hinihintay namin iyong second autopsy na hiningi namin dahil sa dinidispute ng pamilya ang resulta ng unang autopsy (and we are waiting for the second autopsy because the family is disputing the result of the first autopsy),” he added.

Based on the forensic test result, the suspects will be identified and the truth behind the allegations will soon be determined.

So far, the group of men who checked in at Room 2207 are still hiding even a certain ‘Mark’ who Christine mentioned to her other friend who she suspected to have put something in her drink.

Reyes said the family also wants to seek help from Congress to revisit the provisions of the Anti-Rape Law.

“I think there is a need for a study on the possible amending the law so that we will add the use of this sexual drugs as a ground for same probable cause,” he said.

“I think maraming nabiktima nitong droga na hindi na nagreklamo (I think there are other victims of this drug who are hesitant to come out),” he added.

Meanwhile, the PNP is asking the fiscal office to defer the preliminary investigation set on January 27 while they are still waiting for the results of the DNA analysis, toxicology/chemical analysis, histopath examination, and laboratory result from Makati Medical Center where Christine was brought on the day of January 1.

Christine’s mother and the PNP, meanwhile, refused to comment on the case at this point. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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