BY VANNE TERRAZOLA
Boxing icon Senator Emmanuel “Manny’’ D. Pacquiao confirmed Wednesday that he is offering a P500,000 reward for the arrest of the suspects in the reported rape-slay of flight attendant Christine Dacera at a Makati hotel.
Pacquiao, in a statement, expressed hope that his reward offer would help shed light on the events surrounding the young flight attendant’s death.
“Ako at ang aking pamilya ay taus-pusong nakikiramay sa pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay ng ating kababayang si Christine Dacera. Walang salita na makakapagpaliwanag sa lungkot ng isang ina na nawalan ng anak,” he lamented, saying he personally spoke to Dacera’s mother, Sharon, who flew from their home town General Santos City to oversee the investigation on her daughter’s death.
“Hindi lamang katarungan ang ating hinihingi para sa pamilya Dacera. Nais din natin na magkaroon ng kaliwanagan ang nakaparaming katanungan tungkol sa kasong ito,” he said.
“Handa tayong magbigay ng P500,000 na pabuya sa sinumang makakapagturo sa suspek at makakapagbigay-linaw sa kasong ito,” Pacquiao added.
Quoting Sharon, the boxing icon called for an explanation on the closed camera television footage which captured at least three men who were seen with Dacera hours before she was found lifeless in a bath tub of a Makati hotel last January 1.
Eleven men were identified as suspects in Dacera’s death, three of them arrested and already facing charges.
Pacquiao cited the alleged rape-slay of Dacera to support arguments for the revival of death penalty in the Philippines.
“Ang ganitong uri ng krimen ang dahilan kaya dapat ibalik ang parusang kamatayan,” he said.
“Kung mapapatunayan na inabuso at pinaslang si Christine ay maituturing itong isang paglabag sa karapatang pantao na dapat lapatan din ng pinakamabigat na parusang kamatayan.”
“Walang puwang sa ating lipunan ang ganitong uri ng karahasan,” he further said.
He appealed to the relatives and friends of the eight at-large suspects to help authorities in solving the case.
“At sa mga nasasangkot sa kaso ni Christine, lumabas po kayo para magbigay linaw sa totoong nangyari,” he said.
On Tuesday, the police classified Dacera’s case as “solved” since the suspects have been identified, although not yet “cleared” pending their arrest and prosecution.
Also on Tuesday, General Debold Sinas, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), gave all the suspects tagged in the death of Dacera 72 hours to surrender, or face massive manhunt that may employ the use of force.
In a statement, Sinas also warned that they would arrest any person who would be coddling the suspects.
“This is a fair warning. Surrender within seventy-two (72) hours or we will hunt you down using force if necessary,” Sinas said in a statement.
Police have already taken under their custody three of the suspects in the alleged rape-slay of Dacera, identified as John Pascual dela Serna III, 27; Rommel Daluro Galido, 29; and John Paul Reyes Halili, 25.
All of them were already charged with rape with homicide, a non-bailable offense with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. A case of rape with homicide is considered as a heinous crime.
“We know who you are. Your family must turn you over to the police,” said Sinas in a statement.
“Those found to be abetting your escape will also be arrested,” he stressed.
Police listed the following as suspects: Gregorio Angelo de Guzman, Louie de Lima, Clark Jezreel Rapinan, Rey Englis, Mark Anthony Rosales, Jammyr Cunanan, Valentine Rosales, a certain Ed Madrid; and a certain Paul.
Dacera, a flight attendant of the Philippine Airlines and was from General Santos City, was found dead in an empty bathtub of a Makati City hotel on January 1.
Sinas assured the family of Dacera that justice will be served.