13th Dacera guest denies drugs used in party

Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Ralph Edwin Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - January 27, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The 13th person of interest in the investigation of flight attendant Christine Dacera’s death denied there were party drugs taken during the New Year’s Eve party in Makati.

In an interview with ABS-CBN on Monday, Jake Esteron said the white substance police claimed was used during the party was not an illegal drug.

He said the white substance was actually salt used as a chaser for tequila shots.

“That’s for the tequila. You will dip the lemon in the salt,” Esteron said.

Esteron was among those billeted in Room 2207 of the City Garden Grand Hotel, which Dacera visited during the party before she died.

Esteron said he felt offended when respondent Valentine Rosales, Dacera’s friend, called those in Room 2207 “old” and “ugly.”

“You be the judge,” the model said.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has yet to release the result of a second autopsy on Dacera, who was found dead in Room 2209’s bathtub hours after the party.

The NBI will also conduct forensic tests on the cellular phones of the persons of interest.

Dacera’s friends, who were among the persons of interest, said they were put under duress by the Makati police to admit they took drugs.

John Paul dela Serna III retracted his earlier affidavit that a fellow respondent, hair stylist Mark Anthony Rosales, brought powdered drugs, adding that the police forced him to make that statement.

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office will submit all available pieces of evidence on the case to the city prosecutor’s office today, NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said yesterday.

He declined to reveal the “heaviest” piece of evidence they had gathered.

Danao said he has yet to implement the recommendation of Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas to sack four Makati police officers for their apparent mishandling of the case.

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