Dacera case: Sinas recommends relief of Makati police chief, 3 others

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 20) — Philippine National Police chief General Debold Sinas wants Makati City’s top cop and three others relieved for alleged lapses in the investigation into the controversial death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.

Sinas told reporters on Wednesday he is recommending the relief of Makati Police Chief Col. Harold Depositar, forensic examiner Police Major Michael Nick Sarmiento, and two investigators.

“I-subject lang natin sila for investigation (we will subject them to investigation) and the relief is not immediate,” Sinas said.

It’s up to the National Capital Region Police Office to implement the dismissal, but its chief, BGen. Vic Danao, said he will wait for the results of the preliminary investigation being conducted by the Makati Prosecutor’s Office.

“For the meantime, since the investigation is still ongoing and syempre sila ‘yung mga first responders doon sa area (of course they are the first responders in the area), they will remain as is,” Danao said.

Dacera was found dead in the bathtub of a room at the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City on January 1, after a New Year’s Eve celebration with her friends.

READ: Makati hotel in Dacera case loses permit to operate as quarantine facility

The Makati police earlier filed a rape and homicide complaint against Dacera’s companions, noting the presence of bruises, lacerations, and traces of semen on Dacera's body. The Makati Prosecutor’s Office later ordered the release of three suspects, saying there is not enough evidence to prove it was a rape-slay case.

Sarmiento’s medico-legal report concluded that ruptured aortic aneurysm was the cause of Dacera’s death. Dacera’s family has filed an administrative case against Sarmiento, seeking his immediate relief, for embalming her body without their approval, and before an autopsy was conducted.