• The case of Christine Dacera, found dead in a hotel room after a New Year’s Eve party
• The ordered removal of Makati Police Chief Colonel Harold Depositar is the latest development
• Few days back, police issued a statement that they had “solved” the death of the 23-year-old flight attendant
• US$10,400 (£7.600) was offered as a reward by Manny Pacquiao to anyone with information about Dacera’s death
An order has been made to remove a police chief of an affluent area of the Philippine capital, Manila, for his handling of a probe into the suspected rape and murder of an air stewardess.
The case of Christine Dacera, found dead in a hotel room after a New Year’s Eve party, made headlines for weeks. Police quickly said she had been raped and murdered, arresting three men.
But the men have now been released while questions have been raised over officers’ initial conclusions.
The ordered removal of Makati Police Chief Colonel Harold Depositar is the latest development, and comes in the wake of massive criticism for their handling of the high profile case.
Critics say the case represents a denial of due process, an issue that has been raised before in relation to their implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “War on Drugs”
On 4 January, police issued a statement that they had “solved” the death of the 23-year-old flight attendant, adding that she had been raped and murdered.
The statement added that police had arrested three suspects arrested while nine others were “still at large”. All 12 men had been with her that night.
Despite a pending legal medical review of the death, Colonel Depositar confirmed they had “already filed a rape with homicide” case.
What was the reaction like?
Initially, outrage. The story exploded on social media and was trending for days. The hashtag #JusticeForChristineDacera went viral following the police statement, although there were those who blamed her for partying with so many men.
General Sinas called on the nine “at large” to “surrender within 72 hours or we will hunt you down using force if necessary.
Senator, and decorated boxer, Manny Pacquiao offered a reward of US$10,400 (£7.600) for information related to the death.
Senator Pacquiao, who is tipped to run for president in 2022, said the case was another example of why the death penalty should be revived in the Philippines.