Christine Dacera, according to four friends who were with her at the hotel where she died, shuffled between two rooms on New Year's Eve, as they gave their recollection of the events for the first time.
Jaypee dela Serna, Rommel Galido, Valentine Rosales and Clark Rapinan all denied having a hand in the death of the 23-year-old flight attendant. Dela Serna, Galido and a third respondent, John Paul Halili were released on Wednesday after state prosecutors ordered a new investigation on the case citing weak evidence for the rape with homicide complaint filed by police.
Dacera was found dead in the bathtub of the City Garden Hotel in Makati City on Jan. 1, sparking public outrage and reigniting debates on victim-blaming and rape culture. Her family sought a second autopsy on her remains to prove their suspicion that she was drugged and raped.
There were two rooms in the party
Dacera asked to be accompanied to Room 2207 from Room 2209 where their group was staying, said Rosales.
"Nagyayaya siya pumunta sa kabila," Rosales said. "Ako, personally, wala ko kilala ni isa dun."
"I believe walang party drugs. First of all, hindi naman ako naggaganun," he said.
Dela Serna said Dacera went back and forth between their room and Room 2209, where there was a separate group of men.
At around 4 a.m. of Jan. 1, Dela Serna said he fetched Dacera. "Sinundo ko siya sa Room 2207 kasi alam ko, nandun lang siya."
Dacera tried to hide from him from behind the Room 2207 curtain, Dela Serna said. " Where's Tin?.. Nakita kong gumalaw yung curtain, andun sa likod ng curtain si Tin, tinataguan niya ako," he said, recounting the events.
"Kinuha ko si Tin palabas ng kuwarto. All of a sudden, si Tin bigla siyang humiga, sinalo ko po siya," Dela Serna said.
Why was Dacera in the bathtub?
After finally leaving Room 2207, Dacera decided to sleep in the bathtub because she felt like vomiting and did not want to soil the hotel bed.
"She's waiting na masuka siya. Alam niya na susuka siya. Kailangan mo ng tubig? Inassist ko siya," said Rapinan.
Galido said Dacera told him that she suspected that her drink was spiked. Recalling Dacera's words, Galido said: "Sis, parang I feel something. Nag-iiba pakiramdam ko. I think may naglagay sa drink ko."
Asked who she thought laced her drink, Galido said Dacera replied: "Mark." Galido said Dacera was referring to a certain Mark Anthony Rosales. A Philippine National Police statement last Jan. 4 also identified a certain Mark Anthony Rosales as among Dacera's companions at the hotel.
Galido said their group only brought hard liquor and soda, no drugs.
"Kaya yung mga pinaparatang sa amin na binaboy namin, ni-rape, hindi namin kayang gawin sa kanya yun at hindi kami ganung klaseng tao," Rapinan said.
Dacera's body was flown back to her hometown of General Santos City last Thursday. The preliminary investigation ordered by the Makati City prosecutor will determine if the police complaint has enought merit of probable cause for filing in the courts.