The head of the Makati City Police has been ordered relieved from his post, the Philippine National Police said Wednesday, over supposed lapses in the case handling of flight attendant Christine Dacera's death.
PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas has approved the relief of Makati City police chief Col. Harold Depositar following the recommendation of the agency's Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana told reportr in a phone call.
"Approved po ni Gen. Sinas pero ang implementation po nito ay sa regional. Eventually naman po kahit sila ma-relieve, 'di naman po sila talaga tatanggalin sa discussion ng Dacera case dahil sila po ang unang nakakaalam dito," Usana said.
Southern Tagalog Police medico-legal officer Maj. Michael Nick Sarmiento has also been ordered relieved from his post along with two other investigators from the Makati City Police, Usana said.
The move comes "pending investigation of their alleged lapses," according to Usana.
MORE ON DACERA CASE:
It is however up to Metro Manila Police chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. to implement the relief order against the head of the Makati Police and the other officers, Usana said.
The Makati City Police initially filed a provisional case of rape and homicide against 11 men who were with Dacera the night before she died.
State prosecutors however junked the charges and instead ordered a fresh investigation on the case to determine whether charges should be filed in court. The National Bureau of Investigation also has its own inquiry.
The 23-year-old flight attendant was found lifeless in her hotel room bathtub on New Year's Day after a night of partying with friends, who claimed to be gay and denied harming Dacera.
The case has sparked a debate on social media on women, drinking, and gender identity.