Dacera case respondent retracts drugs statement, claims they were 'pressured, tortured'

MANILA, Philippines –
One of the respondents on Christine Dacera case has retracted his initial statement that he saw "powder drugs" during their New Year's Eve party.

John Pascual Dela Serna III Dacera case
John Pascual Dela Serna III, Rommel Galido, John Paul Halili, 3 of the respondents on the Christine Dacera case | Photo Courtesy: ABS-CBN

Lawyer Abigail Portugal, legal counsel of the five respondents John Pascual dela Serna III, Rommel Galido, Gregorio De Guzman, Clark Rapinan, and Valentine Rosales, spoke on Wednesday about their camp retracting the sworn statement of Dela Serna that he saw “powder drugs” from one of the respondents in Room 2209.

Atty. Portugal revealed that the insinuating of party drugs came from the Makati Philippine National Police (PNP). She added that two of her clients, Dela Serna and Galido were subjected to "mental torture" to make the earlier claim.

Hours before Dacera was found dead in a hotel bathtub after a New Year's Eve party, Dela Serna earlier claimed that one of the visitors, Mark Anthony Rosales, offered him "powdered drugs" but he declined it.

Atty. Portugal disclosed that the said statement was made after the respondents were pressured and "tortured" mentally by Makati police.

"The powder issue insinuating drug use actually came from the mouth of the PNP Makati," she said.

"It was added by them after subjecting the two detained to mental torture and misrepresentations that they will be released from detention and that no charges will be filed against them," she added.

Atty. Portugal stressed that her client maintains that he didn't see any "powder drugs" at the party. She, however, clarified that Galido did hear from Dacera that she thinks there was drugs in her drink.

"They did not see any drugs. As per Rommel Galido, he was just told by Christine that she thinks that drug (illegal) was mixed in her drink... so purely hearsay," the lawyer clarified.

"Basically, it was the statement of the Makati police when they mentioned the drugs insofar as JP is concerned," she added.

Atty. Portugal also highlighted that all her five clients tested negative for drug use. “Yes, every one of them. Negative,” she said.

Meanwhile, prosecutors are investigating the allegations and set the next hearing on January 27.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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