The lawyers for the two suspects of the Christine Dacera case slammed on how the police handled their clients, saying their rights were violated.
This after National Capital Region Police Office chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said on Thursday that suspects Rommel Galido and John Pascual de la Serna 3rd could face perjury charges if they retracted their statements. The police have identified 12 suspects in the case.
However, the lawyers of Galido and de la Serna said the affidavits of Galido and de la Serna were inadmissible in court as evidence because the police allegedly violated the suspects’ rights against self-incrimination.
“They were interviewed without the presence of a counsel and they were read promises, misrepresentations, that if they would not point to someone in relation to a drug case, they would rot in jail,” one of the lawyers, Abigail Portugal, said in a television interview.
“Not only were they pressured, they were intimidated. They were manipulated. Words were put into their mouths. They were subjected to psychological warfare because they lacked sleep. They were under duress,” another lawyer, Mike Santiago, said.
Galido and de la Serna even said in an earlier interview that they were not even read their rights under the Miranda doctrine, or the constitutional protection against self-incrimination.
However, Makati police chief Col. Harold Depositar that the two suspects were not coerced.
“There was no pressure, no torture. They were treated well,” Depositar said.
De la Serna, Galido and another respondent, John Paul Halili, were detained initially by the Makati police but were released after the Makati Prosecutor’s office ordered a further probe on the case.
Dacera was found dead on January 1, 2021 in a Makati City hotel room. She and 11 of her friends checked into the hotel to celebrate the New Year. SOVEREIGNPH