Christine Dacera is a 23-year-old flight attendant who was found dead in a hotel bathtub on New Year’s Day after police believe she was gang-raped at a party. The young woman had checked into the upscale City Garden Hotel with friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the city of Makati, just outside Manila in the Philippines, The Sun reported.
According to the outlet, the Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight attendant was at the party with a few of her colleagues. One of them, Rommel Galida, reported that he woke up at around 10 a.m. and found Dacera asleep in the bathtub, the outlet wrote. Galida said he put a blanket over her and returned to bed but when he woke up a few hours later, she was unconscious and turning blue.
Galida explained that he called for help and coworkers tried to revive Dacera. The young woman was declared dead after being rushed to the hospital, The Sun reported. Detectives said an investigation is ongoing and the autopsy results are pending. The outlet wrote that detectives found bruises and cuts on her body, including on her thighs and knees.
According to her Facebook profile, Dacera was born in Davao City in the Philippines and lived in Pasay City. She studied at the University of Philippines and worked as a flight attendant for Philippine Airlines based out of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila and Francisco Bangoy International Airport (DVO) in Davao, according to her Instagram page.
11 Men Are Being Sought in Connection With Her Death & 3 Have Been Charged
Police are investigating 11 men and have arrested three of them in connection with Dacera’s death on New Year’s Day, the Manila Standard reported. Philippine National Police Chief Director Debold Sinas said John Pascual Dela Serna III, 27, Rommel Daluro Galida, 29, and John Paul Reyes Halili, 25, were arrested and charged with the crime of “rape with homicide.”
Sinas also said that authorities are looking for nine other people who were with Dacera at the hotel on the night before her death. Makati City Police Station Chief Colonel Harold Depositar told the Inquirer that the rape charge was due to the victim having “lacerations and sperm in her genitalia.”
Depositar later said that Dacera’s cause of death was a ruptured aortic aneurysm and the case was closed by the Philippine National Police due to having three of the suspects in custody, officially labeling her death a “rape-slay.” However, the Commission on Human Rights said on Tuesday that it would be conducting its own investigation into the flight attendant’s death:
While preliminary investigation by the Philippine National Police showed that the cause of death was due to ruptured aortic aneurysm, visible lacerations and other evidence based on the medico-legal report points to factors of abuse, which include forcible sexual misconduct. This case cannot be regarded as solved until justice has already taken its due course and that the perpetrators are held to account.
Her family told the Inquirer that they think Dacera was forced to use banned substances during the party. Depositar said three of the men were the victim’s friends. “The others were practically strangers to her, as they were only known to her three friends,” he told the Inquirer. PAL issued a statement following the death of the flight attendant, Manila Standard reported, which reads:
PAL Express mourns the tragic death of a flight attendant last January 1 during New Year revelry in Makati City. The flight attendant, whose identity we are not at liberty to disclose at this time, was an upstanding and professional PAL Express crew member who will be sorely missed by her colleagues and friends. Our desire is for the truth to come out in the interest of justice.
According to GMA News, Dacera’s mother Sharon said her daughter had asked her permission before attending the New Year’s Eve party. She said she allowed her daughter to go because she would be with friends and she trusted them. Dacera called her mother shortly after midnight on January 1, the outlet reported, and 12 hours later a friend called her to tell her Dacera had died.
Dacera’s Death Began Trending on Social Media as People Expressed Their Outrage & Called for Justice
Many took to social media to express their outrage at Dacera’s death and called for justice for the flight attendant. One tweet that’s been shared and liked over 3,000 times states: “this is Christine Dacera, a Filipina flight attendant, who was raped by not less than 9 men & killed. 3 of the suspects were already caught but there were still who are walking freely in the streets. justice must be served.” The hashtags #JusticeforChristineDacera and #ProtectDrunkGirls have been widely used.
Another tweet states, “She is Christine Angelica Dacera, a flight attendant she was found dead after attending new year’s party with friends at a hotel in Makati. If it’s really a gang rape I hope they rot in hell. May you rest in peace and condolence to Dacera family. Girls please [be extra careful]!!” One tweet says, “Can y’all stop victing blaming!! Also, being drunk will never be an invitation nor a consent for rape just so it could satisfy your thirst, filthy men. She (Christine Dacera) should’ve continued serving on airplanes flying above now. #JusticeForChristineDacera.”