TIMELINE: The Christine Dacera case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Anxious citizens are keeping tabs on the case of flight attendant Christina Dacera, who was found lifeless in a Makati hotel where she had joined a New Year's Eve party with friends.

Numerous discussions and theories have formed over the incident as the narrative continues to develop. Netizens, celebrities, and even politicians have joined the conversation to rally for the truth surrounding Dacera's death.

CNN Philippines has gathered information based on interviews, reports, and statements from different camps involved in the incident. Here is a timeline of what we've found so far:

December 31, 2020

Dacera, a 23-year-old Philippine Airlines flight attendant, was last seen partying with at least 11 men at the City Garden Hotel in Poblacion, Makati City to welcome the New Year.

The Makati City Prosecutor's Office later identified these men as Dacera's colleague Rommel Galido and those who first decided to rent a room as Rey Ingles, Louie de Lima, John Paul dela Serna, and Clark Rapinan. Dela Serna reportedly checked in as early as 11 a.m., followed by Dacera at noon, while the others followed suit in the succeeding hours. Galido had also invited Gregorio de Guzman, Alain Chen (a.k.a. Valentine Rosales), Mark Anthony Rosales, Jammyr Cunanan, and Eduard Madrid. Meanwhile John Paul Halili, who was reportedly the hotel manager, joined them later that night, the prosecutor's office added.

The men would later deny foul play, saying they were friends of Dacera, were all gay, and would not do anything to harm her.

January 1, 2021

Dacera managed to call her family sometime past midnight, to inform them about the ongoing celebration at the Makati hotel, her mom Sharon revealed in an interview with reporters.

CCTV footage with timestamps showed Dacera briefly kissing a guy donning a cap, later identified as Chen, before entering a room at 2:52 a.m. At 3:22 a.m., Dacera can be seen interacting with another man in an adjacent room on the right side of the hallway, as two other guys walk past them. Three others from one end of the hallway were also seen a few meters away. At 4:13 a.m., Dacera can be seen being carried back by Dela Serna to the first room.

Chen and Dela Serna, who both identify themselves as gay, later said in media interviews that Dacera was their friend and they would not do any harm to her.

Dela Serna and Rapinan also bared in an interview with ANC that they had to bring back Dacera from Room 2207 because she had already been vomiting early in the morning. Meanwhile, Chen and Galido pointed out Dacera would have already told them if she had been raped.

Galido said at around 10 a.m. he found Dacera in the bathtub of their room and thought she was sleeping. At around noon, after checking back to realize that Dacera was already turning blue and appeared to be not breathing, he said he rushed to De Guzman and Dela Serna to seek help.

De Guzman and Dela Serna said they then asked for help from the hotel management and that they tried to revive Dacera with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but failed. The hotel advised them to rush her to the Makati Medical Center where she was declared dead on arrival reportedly due to ruptured aortic aneurysm.

The hospital reported the death to the Makati City police. Meanwhile, the other men from the adjacent hotel room were already gone by then.

January 2

An autopsy was performed on the body of Dacera at Rizal Funeral Homes in Pasay City at 9 a.m., led by medico-legal officer Police Major Michael Nick Sarmiento.

Post-mortem findings on the incident, through a medico-legal report by the Southern Police District Crime Laboratory Office which eventually circulated on social media, indicated that the cause of death was "consistent" with what was previously reported as ruptured aortic aneurysm.

It also mentioned bruises on Dacera's right hand, right thigh, knees, ankles, and right foot, and a linear abrasion on her right thigh. Deep healed lacerations and abrasions were also reported during the genital examination.

The document also noted that Dacera was already embalmed prior to the autopsy.

January 3

Authorities' examination on Dacera's body was completed at 1 p.m, according to the medico-legal report.

Makati City Police, headed by Chief Col. Harold Depositar, then reported details of the death to the media, two days after the incident.

January 4

The Philippine National Police sent the media a separate statement on the incident, saying that they have already "solved" Dacera's "rape-slay" case, despite some other missing details and conflicting reports on the matter.

PNP Chief Police General Debold Sinas said they have already arrested three of the men they tagged as suspects: Dela Serna, Galido, and Halili. A rape with homicide complaint was filed during the inquest proceedings at the Makati City Prosecutor's Office. Meanwhile, police are still tracking down the other suspects.

 READ: 3 arrested in alleged rape-slay of flight attendant 

January 5

Dacera's case has gained larger traction online with further developments coming from her family, the suspects, and authorities investigating the incident.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source, Depositar said traces of semen were also found in Dacera's body. This was not previously indicated in the medico-legal report.

Depositar added that suspects may have used "force." He also said that some of the suspects described themselves as gay.

READ: Foul play in flight attendant’s death? Initial exam showed suspects used ‘force,’ police say

The Tourism Department issued a show cause order to City Garden Grand Hotel for possible violation of COVID-19 protocols by admitting guests for leisure in a hotel that has been designated as a quarantine facility.

Meanwhile, Dacera's family bared in a briefing that they have sought another autopsy to dispute the initial findings of authorities that she died of natural causes. The family's spokesperson, Brick Reyes, noted that the injuries on Dacera's legs and arms as well as her remains will serve as enough evidence to establish a probable cause for rape.

READ: Dacera family sought another autopsy in bid to prove daughter did not die of natural causes

But De Guzman, one of those at the hotel revelry who have come forward, denied what he called "absurd" speculations in various media interviews, claiming he is gay and has never had sexual intercourse with a woman.

Later in the day, Sinas gave the suspects 72 hours to surrender or authorities will "hunt them down."

READ: Sinas tells suspects in Dacera's alleged rape-slay: 'We will hunt you down'

January 6

PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana stressed that Dacera's case cannot yet be considered "closed" and they are still waiting for the issuance of warrants of arrest for the suspects.

Reacting to the police order, De Guzman, along with his mother Claire dela Fuente further bared in an interview with CNN Philippines that they were advised by their lawyer to "stay put" and wait for the meantime until they can file a counter affidavit. They said that Sinas' order was "without regularity."

READ: Suspect in Dacera case speaks up: I’m not hiding

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told the media in a statement that the forensic medicine team of the National Bureau of Investigation is already coordinating with the authorities to determine the true cause of Dacera's death.

Later in the day, Dacera's remains were brought to the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City for a private funeral service, with only her family members and a few close friends allowed.

Meanwhile, the Makati City Prosecutor's Office ordered the release of the three detained respondents in the case, citing the need for the police to submit the results of the DNA analysis, toxicology report, and histopath examination. A preliminary investigation on the others has yet to be conducted.

READ: Three suspects in Christine Dacera case released for further investigation 

January 7

Dacera's remains were flown to her hometown in General Santos City in the morning for a private funeral with family and friends.

Dr. Marichi Ramos, a friend of the Dacera family, told reporters the body had been submitted to a second autopsy before it was sent home, but the findings will not be disclosed to the public.

Later in the day, Dela Serna, Rapinan, Galido and Chen also reiterated their innocence and insisted that Dacera died of natural causes.

READ: Christine Dacera's last hours, according to her friends now respondents in case 

January 8

The National Capital Region Police Office announced that it has created a special investigation task group that will look into the case.

NCRPO chief Vicente Danao Jr. also admitted that there is a "big possibility" that the samples taken from Dacera may be contaminated due to the embalming process that was done before the autopsy.

READ: Dacera's body embalmed prior to autopsy, Metro Manila police chief confirms 

January 9

Dacera's parents revealed that they have filed a complaint seeking the immediate relief of PMAJ Michael Nick Sarmiento for gross negligence and gross incompetence in the "irregular and inaccurate" preparation of Dacera's medico-legal report and death certificate.

READ: Christine Dacera's family seeks immediate relief of medico-legal examiner 

January 10

Dacera was laid to rest at the Forest Lake Memorial Park in General Santos City, more than a week after her death.

LOOK: Christine Dacera laid to rest

At this point, the NBI already has the identities of the Room 2207 occupants, but Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he would not reveal the names until they are summoned.

READ: DOJ: NBI has identified men in room 2207, but won't reveal names until summoned

January 11

Guevarra announced that the results of the forensic examination of Dacera's body will soon be released. Eight of the 11 respondents to the case were also represented by their lawyers to explain their side to authorities.

NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin also said that they have found "encouraging leads" and "pieces of evidence" that will prove whether there were lapses in the first autopsy conducted. He added that so far, there are "good indications" that a crime was committed. He also requested the other suspects who have not yet surfaced to cooperate with them.

READ: DOJ: NBI has identified men in room 2207, but won't reveal names until summoned 

January 12

In a press briefing, Lavin disclosed that apart from rooms 2207 and 2209, they have also looked into room 2009 of the hotel for potential evidence linked to Dacera's death. He also stressed that the bodily fluids retrieved from the second autopsy have been forwarded to the Death Investigation Division, which will be the one to provide further details after a final assessment and consolidation of all the findings of their forensics team.

Later in the day, Guevarra revealed that about 100 milliliters of urine were extracted from Dacera’s body, which would further aid the investigation. Results of the laboratory examination may come out in a few days, he added.

January 13

The primary investigation on the case began at the Makati City Prosecutor's Office. Atty. Abi Portugal, the legal counsel of Galido, Chen, Dela Serna, De Guzman and Rapinan, revealed that the Makati police pressured them to state that illegal drugs were used during the party.

January 14

The Department of Tourism has revoked City Garden Grand Hotel's permit to operate for accepting guests for leisure when it should be serving as a quarantine facility. The hotel has 15 days to appeal the DOT's decision.

January 15

Dacera's five friends released their negative drug test results that were taken within January 4 to January 11. These were shared through the Facebook Page Fund the Truth, a fundraiser platform they launched to seek financial help from the public amid their legal battle.

At this point, names of the other guests from Room 2207 are already surfacing in other media reports. Jake Esteron, who was reportedly among them, also appeared before the NBI to explain his side. He also revealed in an ABS-CBN interview that the powdered substance found during the party was only table salt that served as chaser for their drinks.

January 20

Sinas recommended the relief of Depositar, Sarmiento, and two investigators from service but said this is not immediate, as the NCRPO will still have to wait for the results of the preliminary investigation.

January 27

During the second hearing in the preliminary investigation, homicide has been ruled out as the cause of Dacera's death.

The PNP reported to Makati state prosecutors their latest findings that ruptured aortic aneursym remains her cause of death. Dacera's heart also weighed 500 grams, larger than the normal 300 grams, which the report said supported her apparently undiagnosed hypertension.

READ: Medico legal report says Dacera's death 'natural' 

Police also revealed that the sachet that was earlier found in the hotel room only contained table salt and not crystal meth or party drug.

February 17

The Makati Prosecutor's Office ended its preliminary investigation hearings on the case.

March 5

The PNP asked Makati state prosecutors to "immediately" reopen Dacera's case after receiving copies of the toxicology and semen analysis exam results from the PNP Crime Laboratory on February 26, days after the probe was already terminated.

It further argued there was no intention on its part to intentionally delay the release of the test results.

March 12

The NBI recommended filing an obstruction of justice charge against the 11 men who were first tagged in Dacera's death.

Zulikha Marie Conales-Degamo, an agent of the NBI-Death and Investigation Division, defended in a virtual briefing the recommendation to file reckless imprudence resulting in homicide charges, saying that Dacera was already complaining of a headache and kept on vomiting, and yet "the occupants of room 2209 failed to observe these details."

Southern Police District medico-legal officer Michael Nick Sarmiento will also face charges for conducting the embalming without the consent of Dacera's family.

READ: NBI files complaints vs 11 individuals on Christine Dacera's death 

March 15

Five of the 11 respondents are preparing countercharges against the Dacera family for malicious prosecution, incriminating innocent persons, perjury, and cyber libel.

Lawyer Mike Santiago said his clients Rapinan, De Guzman, Galido, Chen, and Dela Serna must now go on the offensive to pursue people "who are concocting lies one after the other."

April 23

The Makati City prosecutor's office dismissed for "lack of probable cause" the rape with homicide complaint against Dacera's companions.

January 31, 2022

More than a year after Dacera's death, the Makati City Prosecutor's Office has dismissed the consolidated complaints against Dacera's companions and the other names involved in her death.

Also dismissed were counter-complaints for illegal detention, arbitrary detention, unlawful arrest, perjury, grave coercion, libel, slander, and cyberlibel filed by Dacera's companions against her mother, her cousin, their family lawyer, and two other police officers due to lack of evidence.

READ: Makati prosecutors junk raps vs Dacera's mother, companions 

The Department of Justice said there are no other pending cases involving Dacera.