From defense to offense: Respondents to file countercharges vs Christine Dacera family, others

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) —Five of the 11 respondents tagged in the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera will soon go after their accusers.

Lawyer Mike Santiago said it’s time for his clients – Clark Rapinan, Gregorio de Guzman, Rommel Galido, Alain Chen, and JP Dela Serna – to go on the offensive.

“Lagi na lang kami depensa nang depensa. Pwede na siguro…. They’re challenging our clients bakit hindi nagsasampa ng kaso. It’s a wake-up call,” Santiago pointed out in a press conference.

[Translation: We are always on the defense. I think it’s time...They’re challenging our clients because we are not filing a case. It’s a wake-up call.]

He explained that they are preparing countercharges against the Dacera family for malicious prosecution, incriminating innocent persons, perjury, and cyber libel.

“Because they want to make it appear there’s rape with homicide and yet NBI already categorically stated no rape occurred. No homicide,” said Santiago.

They will also pursue those people “who are concocting lies one after the other,” Santiago added.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed a separate complaint against the 11 individuals who partied with Dacera to welcome the New Year.

Dela Serna, Rapinan, Chen and Louie Delima were accused of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide for neglecting Dacer which led to her death.

But Santiago said this is laughable.

“Nakakatawa ‘tong reckless imprudence," he said. "We normally hear this sa vehicular accidents. Wala pa kaming na-encounter na namatay sa inuman, dinemanda ‘yung mga kainuman ng reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.”

[Translation: This reckless imprudence is laughable. We normally hear this in vehicular accidents. We have not encountered anyone who died from drinking, then they charged those who were drinking with her with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.]

Santiago argued Dacera and her friends were simply having fun and “should not be expected, morally or legally, to take care of their drinking buddies.”

Respondents also questioned the drug complaint filed against Rosales and Galido.

Santiago said all his five clients voluntarily submitted themselves to drug test, and submitted the negative result as early as Jan. 13 to the Makati Prosecutor’s Office.

The same documents were also given to NBI, he added.

“Cotton swabs lang ang basehan para sabihin nila na may administering of drugs, may taking of drugs,” Santiago said.

[Translation: It is only based on cotton swabs for them to say that there was an administering of drugs and taking of drugs.]

NBI relied on the two pieces of cotton found inside Room 2209. Examination yielded presence of fluoromethamphetamine and methamphetamine, both illegal drugs, the NBI said.

Santiago also dismissed as hearsay the testimonies used by NBI that Dacera told them that she did not want to be at Room 2209 because her companions were high on party drugs.

Meanwhile, Chen said they are victims of injustice.

“Kami na nga yung tumulong kami pa ‘yung napasama," Chen said. "Napaka-unfair sa part namin ‘tas ngayon hindi na rin kami natutuwa kasi inaabuso na.”

[Translation: We were the ones who helped, yet we were tagged as criminals. That is so unfair on our part and we are not happy that it was being taken advantage of.]

The Makati Prosecutor’s Office has yet to resolve the complaint filed by the Makati police against the 11 respondents.