Dacera Case: Sec. Panelo Urges Family to Give Up Foul Play Claim

Panelo says he has 'personal' knowledge of the case.
Photo/s: Instagram/xtinedacera

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has advised the family of Christine Dacera to give up their argument that there was foul play in the death of the 23-year-old flight attendant after a police report pointed to a natural cause of death.

Panelo, a veteran trial lawyer who has handled several high-profile cases, said he had "personal" information on the Dacera case, which he refused to divulged. The cabinet official touched on the case in his online show "Counterpoint" last Jan. 29 where the topic was body cameras for policemen.

"Ano bang katarungan hinahanap ninyo? Bat nyo pinagpipilitang merong krimen kung wala naman? Anong katarungan," Panelo said addressing Dacera's mother, Sharon, and her lawyers. His remarks on the case start at around the 4:38-mark.

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The police crime lab report dated Jan. 11 pointed to aortic aneurysm or a ruptured vein as the cause of death, adding Dacera could have had undiagnosed hypertension based on her enlarged heart. Her condition was chronic and the aneurysm was unlikely to have been caused by alcohol or drugs, if ever she took some, before she was found dead in her hotel room bathtub on Jan. 1.

However, Dacera's family said the report omitted the bruises on her arms, legs and private parts, which they said were signs of foul play. The report was also dated one day after her Jan. 10 burial, said lawyer Brick Reyes, the family spokesman.


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"Kaganda-ganda nga na namatay out of natural causes instead na may crime na ginawa, bat ipagpilitan na may crime? nagkamali nga from the start," Panelo said. Police initially filed a rape with homicide with complaint, which was scrapped to give way to a preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice.

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"Obvious na obvious na. Wag na natin ipagpilitan, unless na meron pa kayong ibang agenda, wag nyo na ipagpilitan na merong krimen," he said.

"Ako, may mga alam akong personal na bagay diyan, kaya lang hindi ko na ho sasabihin. Ang pakiusap ko lang, wag nyo na akong pilitin magsalita, wag na ho," he said.

Last week, Sharon Dacera refuted internet chatter about an alleged insurance claim tied to her daughter's death. Reyes, her lawyer, said no insurance claim has been filed.


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