DOT issues show cause order vs Makati hotel after demise of flight attendant
This composite photo shows August 2018 rooftop view of City Garden Grand Hotel and Instagram photo of Christine Angelica Dacera.
Facebook/City Grand Hotel; Instagram/xtinedacera

DOT issues show cause order vs Makati hotel after demise of flight attendant

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - January 5, 2021 - 12:30pm

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED 1:26 p.m.) — The Department of Tourism on Tuesday issued a show cause order calling on a hotel in Makati City to explain why its accreditation should not be revoked in light of a death of a flight attendant in one of its rooms.

In the show cause order addressed to Richard Reazon, general manager of the implicated hotel City Garden Grand Hotel, DOT-National Capital Region Regional Director Woodrow Maquiling Jr. said reports reached the agency’s office that the death of a Philippine Airlines flight attendant allegedly occurred during a party held in the establishment on New Year’s eve.

“We understand based on reports that several individuals have checked-in or spent the evening in one of your rooms on the said date,” Maquiling wrote.

Maquiling cited that DOT Administrative Order No. 2020-002-C states that an accommodation establishment in areas declared to be under a General Community Quarantine that is concurrently being used as a quarantine facility may not provide accommodation for leisure purposes.

“Permitted guests are only those that fall under the enumeration in Section 24 thereof, subject to the allowable room occupancy under DOT Memorandum Circular No. 2020-002-B. On the other hand, DOT Administrative Order No. 2020-006-C provides that hotels accommodating guests for staycation purposes must not be concurrently used as a quarantine or isolation facility,” the regional director said.

“Based on the foregoing and in the interest of due process, you are hereby directed to submit to this office, within three days from receipt of this Show Cause Order a written explanation why your DOT accreditation should not be suspended or revoked for violation of the foregoing issuances,” he concluded.

The show cause order was issued a day after the Philippine National Police reported the suspected rape-slay of a 23-year-old flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera.

The PNP said initial investigation showed that the victim and the suspects were at a New Year’s Eve Party at the City Garden Grand Hotel located at the corner of Makati and Kalayaan Avenues in Barangay Poblacion, Makati City.

“At past noontime of January 1, the victim was found unconscious in the bathtub of her hotel room. Hotel staff performed CPR on the victim to revive her but failed, and later rushed her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead by doctors,” the PNP Public Information Office said.

PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas said the case was already “solved” following the arrest and indictment of three suspects namely John Pascual Dela Serna III, 27; Rommel Daluro Galido, 29; and John Paul Reyes Halili, 25.

They surrendered to the authorities and underwent inquest proceedings at the Makati City Procecutor’s Office on Monday. The suspects were later charged for the crime of rape with homicide.

Meanwhile, Sinas said nine other persons who were with the victim during her stay at the hotel are also being sought by the Makati City Police.

They are: 1) Gregorio Angelo de Guzman, 2) Louie de Lima, 3) Clark Jezreel Rapinan, 4) Rey Englis, 5) Mark Anthony Rosales, 6) Jammyr Cunanan, 7) Valentine Rosales, 8) a certain Ed Madrid and 9) a certain Paul.

“All remain at-large and are now the subject of follow-up operations,” the PNP PIO wrote.

Sinas said District Director of Southern Police District, Police Brigadier General Emmanuel Peralta is in close contact with the mother of the victim Sharon Dacera and assured the family of “prompt and thorough investigation.”

The victim’s family who hails from General Santos City is now in Manila and is represented by lawyer Brick Reyes.

Last week, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat cautioned DOT-accredited hotels being used as quarantine facilities to refrain from accepting guests for leisure purposes.

Apart from ban on staycation, quarantine hotels are prohibited from operating their ancillary establishments such as spas, bars and gym, among others.

“This is not acceptable and should not be tolerated. Our guidelines explicitly prohibit the use of quarantine hotels for staycation purposes and vice-versa,” Puyat said last week.

The DOT said under its guidelines, first-time offenders will be meted stern warning and/or a penalty of not less than P1,000 but not more than P10,000 based on the gravity of the offense.

Second-time violators will be subject to three months to one-year suspension and/or a fine of P10,000.00 but not more than P20,000.00 based on the gravity of the offense.

On the other hand, third-time offenders could have their accreditation revoked or canceled and/or meted a fine P20,000.00 but not more than P100,000.00 based on the gravity of the offense.

Based on a series of Facebook post in November 2020, the City Garden Grand Hotel, listed as a quarantine hotel, is advertising safe stay in its hotel. In October, it is also announced that it is open to accept weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions with its "new normal" event venue packages.

For the Holidays, the hotel also advertised Outdoor Christmas and New Year Rooftop Dinner at its buffet restaurant Firefly Roofdeck.

The DOT said that as of December 17, only 15 four-to-five star rated DOT-accredited AEs in NCR have been issued Certificates of Authority to Operate as Staycation hotels.The City Garden Grand Hotel, a four-star hotel. is not included in the tourism agency's updated roster.

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