Autopsy report on Dacera case cannot support sexual assault claim — forensic expert

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 7, 2021   •   2273

MANILA, Philippines — The autopsy report on the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera cannot support the sexual assault claim.

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun said she does not agree with the findings and a forensic autopsy should have been conducted, instead.

“The report is not convincing. You know, when you read a document like a medico legal report, hopefully, forensic autopsy iyong ginawa (should have been conducted) and all the details are there and especially if a pathologist reads it, hihimay-himayin iyan (it is thoroughly reviewed). And the way it is discussed and described in findings,” she said.

“In forensic pathology, we look for evidence of contact, evidence of such force in the sense that it may have produced physical injuries,” she added.

Fortun also explains that aortic aneurysm also does not fit given the victim’s age and the unusual circumstance of her death.

She also lamented that all investigations on the body should have been conducted so there is no need for a second autopsy. There is a possibility that the body might already be contaminated for another autopsy, she added.

Meanwhile, Fortun calls for a better death investigation system in the country for controversial cases. —AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Kaso ni Christine Dacera, “submitted for resolution” na

Marje Pelayo   •   February 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Tinapos na ng Makati Prosecutor’s Office ang preliminary investigation ng kasong rape with homicide laban sa mga nakasama ng flight attendant na si Christine Dacera nang araw na siya ay namatay.

Ayon kay Atty. Mike Santiago na abogado ng limang respondent, submitted for resolution na ang kaso kung saan hihintayin na lang ang desisyon ng investigating prosecutor batay sa naipresentang ebidensya ng magkabilang panig.

“This case is already submitted for resolution. Ito’y matapos na magsubmit ang most of the respondents ng kanilang respective rejoinder affidavits,” pahayag ni Santiago.

Inaasahang tatagal ng dalawang buwan bago mailabas ng piskalya ang resolusyon.

Sa pagdining ngayong Miyerkoles (February 17), wala nang karagdagang ebidensya na naibigay ang complainant at hinihintay pa rin nila ang report na ilalabas naman ng National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

“Hinihintay lang naman namin ‘yong final word na manggagaling sa NBI kung meron man silang findings na iba or iko-collaborate lang nila ‘yong findings dito ng PNP. Either way ang kampo lang naman ni Mrs. Dacera ay naghihintay,” pahayag ni Atty. Jose Ledda, ang abogado ng ina ni Christine na si Sharon Dacera.

Maging ang Philippine National Police (PNP) ay bigo pa ring maibigay ang toxicology report.

Naghain lang ng rejoinder affidavits ang ilan sa mga respondent para sagotin ang reply-affidavit ni Sharon Dacera.

Naniniwala naman ang mga abogado ng mga respondent na madi-dismiss ang kaso dahil walang sapat na ebidensya o probable cause na magdidiin ang kanilang kliyente batay na rin sa medico-legal report ng PNP.

“Positive naman kami na walang matibay na…walang matibay na ebidensya na iprinisenta ang mga complainants maging ang PNP upang maging batayan sa pagsasampa ng anomang kaso,” pahayag ni Santiago.

Sa ngayon, ang tanging hangarin ng lang ng mga respondent ay ang malinis ang kanilang mga pangalan sa kaso. MNP (sa ulat ni Dante Amento)

PACC chair Dante Jimenez passes away at 68

Maris Federez   •   January 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chairperson Dante Jimenez has passed away due to an aortic aneurysm. He was 68.

Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) president Arsenio “Boy” Evangelista confirmed Jimenez’s death on his Facebook page.

“It is with deep sadness the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) officially announces the demise of its Founding Chairman Dante La Jimenez last Friday, January 29, 2021, due to an Aortic Aneurysm,” Evangelista said.

He also shared on his post the official statement of the family of Jimenez.

“We, his family will miss him dearly as we have lost a loving family man and a passionate anti-crime crusader,” the post said.

Jimenez was the founding chairman of VACC before his appointment to PACC in January 2018.

“Chairman Dante leaves behind an irreplaceable void. However, we at VACC will honor his memory by continuing the crusade with a greater sense of purpose and commitment,” the VACC board said.

Malacañang, on Saturday, offered its condolences to Jimenez’s family.

“The Palace expresses its condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Chairperson Dante Jimenez who died of aortic aneurysm last night, January 29, 2021,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

“PACC Chair Jimenez spent most of his productive life advocating a just and peaceful society for Filipinos by fighting criminality and corruption. He believed and shared President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s centerpiece program, which is the campaign against illegal drugs, crime and corruption, and had served the Duterte Administration as Chair of PACC and Co-Chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). He would be dearly missed,” he added. —/mbmf

Dacera family seeks DNA test of organ specimens examined by PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   January 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The family of Christine Dacera on Friday insisted that a DNA test be performed on the organ and tissue specimens that the police used in their autopsy.

The lawyer of the Dacera family, Atty. Brick Reyes said the family demands a DNA test of all organ samples examined by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to determine if they really belonged to Christine.

“Remember the family, the Dacera family never gave any consent for specimens to be taken. Never knew that there were specimens taken, we do not know that these specimens are really part of the body organs of the late Christine,” he said.

The PNP, in its medico-legal report dated Jan. 11, stated that the flight attendant died of natural causes and ruled out rape or homicide as a manner of death – contrary to the family’s belief that there was foul play involved.

The PNP Crime Laboratory said Dacera died due to “ruptured aortic aneurysm” triggered by an increase in blood pressure.

The PNP said that the dilatation on her aorta was present long before she died and that no alcohol or recreational drugs taken the night prior to her death will cause that kind of defect on her aorta.

The report also noted that Dacera’s heart weighed 500 grams, which is larger than the normal 300 grams. The finding supports Dacera’s apparently undiagnosed hypertension, it added.

But the Dacera family rejected the findings, citing Christine’s medical exam at the Philippine Airlines which showed that her heart is normal and without hypertension.

“23-year old flight attendant flying four times a day, 30,000 feet above sea level. Do you think that that heart can withstand this kind of pressure every day? Do you think PAL will not discover na mayroon siyang englarged heart?” Reyes asked.

Reyes said the family is willing to exhume Christine’s body to compare her DNA on the alleged organs examined by the police.

The PNP has declined to comment on Dacera family’s statement and said they would wait for the result of the Special Investigation Task Group’s investigation on the case. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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