Christine Dacera’s parents Jose Nestor and Sharon Dacera last week filed an administrative complaint against PMAJ Michael Nick Sarmiento, for gross negligence, gross incompetence in the “irregular and inaccurate” preparation and submission of the medicolegal report and death certificate of their daughter.
The complaint said that after Dacera was declared dead at Makati Medical Center, her body was kept in the hospital’s refrigeration facility before being moved to Rizal Funeral Homes in Pasay.
Sarmiento had also “prematurely ordered” the body’s embalmment “without the conformity of the family and without having first conducting his medicolegal examination”, which he admitted was a misstep on his part.
Metro Manila police chief Vicente Danao JR. confirmed that Dacera’s body was embalmed before they had a chance to perform their own initial autopsy, but gave Sarmiento the benefit of the doubt as to his actions.
“Meron po tayong pinalabas last year regarding the protocol on how to conduct an autopsy when there is a found dead body–baka yun po ang naging basis niya,” Danao said. “We are in a pandemic time, baka po hindi natin alam what’s the cause of her death. This is a very abnormal time…Sa akin pong experience, mas nauuna po dapat ‘yung pag-conduct ng autopsy dahil kapag na-embalm na po yan, definitely it will change lalong-lalo na kung anong merong diyan.”
The National Bureau of Investigation was previously ordered to assist the Philippine National Police in their probe amid conflicting reports regarding her death.
The PNP last week admitted that there were lapses in their probe and among these was the non-performance of the autopsy. Thus, Makati police chief’s previous statement that there was semen in Dacera’s genitalia can no longer be ascertained.
A few days after Dacera’s death, PNP chief Debold Sinas declared Dacera’s death a “solved rape-slay” case despite the lack of conclusive evidence. The Makati prosecutor’s office, however, recommended it for further investigation and ordered the police to provide proof of rape in order to justify the arrest and indictment of the 11 suspects present the night before Dacera died.
Despite the release of three of 11 suspects—John Pascual dela Serna, Rommel Galido and Valentine Rosales—ordered by the prosecutor, the provisional charge of rape against them has not been scrapped.
All have claimed that they are gay and did not rape someone they considered a dear friend.
PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said: “The suspects are not yet off the hook” and urged respondents to come forward with their account of events if they had nothing to hide.