The three men arrested for the hotel death of a flight attendant in the Philippines were released from custody Wednesday — as prosecutors slammed the lack of proof that she had been raped or murdered.
The trio — the only ones arrested out of 11 charged for Christine Angelica Dacera’s death after a New Year’s Eve party in her hotel — were released as prosecutors threw the case back to Makati City, which had prematurely ruled it a “solved case,” CNN said.
Prosecutors insisted that “the pieces of evidence so far submitted are insufficient to establish that she was sexually assaulted or raped” — and if so, which of the group partying with her were responsible, with many of the 11 saying they are gay.
They also insisted that even if the 23-year-old Filipino attendant had been raped, cops had yet to show that it caused her death after she was found unconscious in her room’s empty bathtub on Jan. 1.
Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento gave police until Jan. 13 to come up with stronger evidence, asking for DNA as well as toxicology results.
An initial autopsy suggested Dacera died of “ruptured aortic aneurysm” and made no mention of seminal fluids, CNN said.
The ruling allowed John Pascual Dela Serna III, Rommel Galido and John Paul Halili to walk free Wednesday.
“We did nothing wrong, ” Halil told CNN through tears. Galido said the dead attendant was “like a sibling to me,” insisting, “I love her very much.”
The other eight suspects who had partied with them had yet to be picked up before Wednesday’s ruling. All 11 faced a provisional charge of rape with homicide after the local police chief said everyone present was responsible for not protecting Dacera, saying that an “act of one is an act of all.”
At least one of the named suspects, Gregorio de Guzman — the son of well-known Filipino singer Claire dela Fuente — insisted most of the men there were gay.
“How did it become rape? I am gay. I never had sex with any woman ever in my life,” Guzman told ABS-CBN TV, saying that up to eight of the 11 were “probably gay like us.”
He insisted he only remembered Dacera being “happy” at the party, then giving her CPR the next morning after discovering her unconscious in her room’s bathtub at the City Garden Grand Hotel.
Dacera was a flight attendant for Philippine Airlines (PAL) Express, which said it “mourns the tragic death.”