Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told the camp of flight attendant Christine Dacera to stop seeking justice and insisting that there was foul play behind her death, saying there was no crime that happened to begin with and too many people from both sides got hurt already.
Panelo made the statement after the family of Dacera, who died after a New Year’s party in a hotel in Makati early this year, contested the latest report of the Philippine National Police saying the flight attendant died due to natural causes.
In the January 29, 2021 episodes of his show “Counterpoint”, he asked the Dacera family and their lawyer and spokesman Brick Reyes about the justice that they are seeking. He also advised Reyes to do his job properly.
“Ikaw (Reyes) naman, meron kang sinumpaan. Hindi lang tayo mga abogado mang-uusig. Ang pinaka tungkulin natin ay magbigyan tayo ng katarungan. Ano ba’ng katarungang hinahanap mo (Mr. Reyes, you have a sworn oath. We’re not just lawyers to prosecute. Our main duty is to give justice. But what justice are you looking for)?” he said.
“Bakit niyo ipagpipilitan na may krimen kung wala naman? Ano’ng katarungan (Why are you insisting that a crime took place when there’s none? What justice are you looking for)?” he added.
According to Panelo, unless they have a different agenda, the Dacera camp should now come to terms with the recent development, noting that the latest report of the Philippine National Police (PNP) validated the original findings of the authorities.
“Ang ganda-ganda nga na namatay out of natural causes instead of may crime na ginawa. eh. Bakit niyo pa rin ipagpipilitan pa rin yung may crime (It’s better that she died out of natural causes instead of dying from a crime. Why would you insist that there was a crime)?” he said.
“Nagkamali na nga from the very start– at hindi ko naman sinisisi dahil nga yun naman ang sinabi sa kanya, initially. Pero ngayon na obvious na obvious na, eh ‘wag na nating ipagpilitan unless na meron pa kayong ibang agenda (You were already from the start– and I am not blaming you because that was what you were initially told. But now that it’s very obvious, you should stop insisting. Unless you have another agenda),” he added.
Panelo claimed that he personally knows details about the case but refused to reveal them.
“May mga alam akong personal na bagay diyan kaya lang hindi ko na ho sasabihin. Ang pakiusap ko lang, ‘wag niyo na akong pilitin magsalita (I personally know some things about the case but I won’t reveal them. But my appeal is don’t force me to speak up),” he said.
“Kung ‘yan talaga ang sinabi ng PNP forensic experts, eh malamang– doktor ito– igalang na po natin (If that is what the PNP forensic experts are saying– they are doctors– let’s respect it),” he added.
The Palace official advised the Dacera camp to now back off since a lot of people already got hurt because of what happened.
“Kung nagkamali tayo sa akusasyon, umatras na tayo. Masyado nang maraming nasaktan dito on both sides (If we were wrong in our accusations, let’s back off now. Too many people from both sides got hurt already),” Panelo said.
“Ikaw naman abogado ka, gawin mo yung tungkulin mo– give justice. Hindi yung naghahanap ka ng justice, may krimen, para parusahan na wala naman. Mali yun. Hay naku (To you, Mr. Reyes. Do your job– give justice. Don’t seek for justice and insist that there was a crime to punish innocent people. That’s wrong. My goodness),” he added.
The report Philippine National Police-Crime Laboratory Office (PNP-CLO) revealed last week validated the initial finding that Dacera died from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. It furthered that the flight attendant was afflicted with chronic hypertension.
The powdered substance found in the hotel room also turned out to be table salt and not crystal meth or any party drug.