The body of a a 23-year-old flight attendant was found dumped in a bathtub of a four-star hotel after 11 men brutally raped and killed her at a New Year Eve's party. Police so far have arrested three men while others are at large. All the 11 men were charged with rape and homicide on Tuesday. Police have ruled the incident a case of gangrape.
Christine Angelica Dacera was a flight attendant at Philippine Airlines (PAL). The case is still under investigation as police are yet to ascertain the circumstances under which Dacera died. Initial investigation has revealed some of the people present at the party were Dacera's friends, while her body was discovered by yet another friend who was sleeping in the hotel room.
According to a report in The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dacera was found unconscious in the empty bathtub of her room at the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City on early January 1. Her body was first discovered by Rommel Galida, one of her office friends, who was in the next room. According to a police report, Galida found Dacera asleep in the bathtub of the hotel room when he woke up around 10 am.
At that time he didn't realize that she was already dead. Assuming her to have falling asleep after the party, Galida wrapped Dacera in a blanket and went to sleep again but found her unconscious and turning blue a few hours later when he woke up again. Following that, she was immediately rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead after a few hours.
Dacera initially appeared to have died from an aneurysm but police said she also had "lacerations and sperm in her genitalia" as well as scratches on her arms and legs. Police later confirmed that Dacera was sexually abused by not one but multiple men before her death.
Police arrested three men, who were all Dacera's friends after a provisional charge of rape with homicide against 11 men who were with her during the party. The charges are provisional as officials still await results final autopsy and toxicology results.
Partying with Strangers
Dacera's death has left entire Philippines shocked. The incident has led people to flood their outrage and grief on social media. Netizens are expressing their outrage while demanding justice for the the flight attendant under the hashtag #JusticeforChristineDacera and #ProtectDrunkGirls.
According to police only three of the 11 men at the party were Dacera's friends, while others were strangers. Makati City police chief Col. Harold Deposita told the Daily Inquirer that the three arrested had been telling "conflicting stories", with some even saying that they were gay.
However, police are holding everyone in the room was equally responsible for refusing to stop the gangrape of Dacera, who was from neighboring South Cotabato. Dacera's company too has come in support of thousands demanding justice for the 23-year-old flight attendant. "We are extending full support to the flight attendant's family at this most difficult time. Our desire is for the truth to come out in the interest of justice," PAL Express, her employers said.
Her mother, Sharon Dacera, has also appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte, saying her daughter had been "treated like a pig" in the "barbaric" crime. Needless to say, Dacera's brutal rape and murder is fast taking shape of a national issue. The Tourism Department has also written to the hotel management threatening to suspend its accreditation unless it provides an adequate explanation in three days, according to a letter obtained by the media outlet.