One by one, the suspects in the death of 23-year-old flight attendant Christine Dacera have stepped forward, pleading their innocence after becoming persons of interest.
Dubbed a "rape-slay" case by the Philippine National Police, Dacera’s death has caught national attention, igniting debates on rape culture, justice, and trial by publicity. Three of the suspects have now stepped forward, insistent on their innocence.
1. Gregorio de Guzman
The son of veteran singer Claire dela Fuente, de Guzman is one of the suspects identified in the death of Dacera. De Guzman appeared on GMA News TV to tell his side of the story. In the interview, he said that he was the one who performed CPR on Dacera after she was found unconscious in the bathtub.
He also said that he stayed with her body until it was brought to Makati Medical Center, where she was declared dead upon arrival.
“Andun po kami, hindi namin iniwan si Tin until the end. Hindi namin iniwan si Tin,” said de Guzman on television.
He also denied all allegations that he participated in her suspected gang-rape, saying, “Absurd po. Paano po nagging rape? Bakla po ako. Hindi po ako nakipagtalik sa babae, never in my life.”
2. Valentine Rosales
In a series of Instagram stories, another suspect, Valentine Rosales, rejected all allegations that there was foul play involved in Dacera’s death.
“The truth will prevail. Social media fabricates the story too much. I wish you were here, Tin,” wrote Rosales. “Sama sama padin tayo. Alam mo ikaw ang tranny ng barkada and let’s prove to them what really happened na walang foul play and finalingan mo lang talaga sa hep hep horray kaya ikaw nanalo ng 500 na di worth it sa pag semplang. Wish you were here.”
Rosales went on to describe news regarding her rape-slay, as dubbed by the PNP, as “absurd, fake, and disgusting… Ilabas iyo official copy ng autopsy report. Walang gumalawa kay Tin!”
Rosales also claimed that Dacera was the one who booked the hotel room in her name.
3. Rey Englis
In a private Facebook post that’s now circulating on social media as a screenshot, Rey Englis insists that “The truth will set us all free.”
“We will try to survive these harassments and fake news spreading kahit na halos di naming kaya. Pati mga pamilya naming nadadamay na,” wrote Englis. “Matatapos din ang investigation and this too shall pass.”
The Other Suspects
Three of the suspects—John Pascual Dela Serna III, Rommel Daluro Galido, John Paul Reyes Halili—are under police custody and have been charged with the crime of rape with homicide.
Nine suspects are still being sought by the PNP for questioning, namely Gregorio Angelo de Guzman, Louie de Lima, Clark Jezreel Rapinan, Rey Englis, Mark Anthony Rosales, Jammyr Cunanan, Valentine Rosales, a certain Ed Madrid, and a certain Paul.
This story will be updated as more come forward to tell their side.
This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.