Christine Dacera's last hours, according to her friends now respondents in case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 7) - Four of flight attendant Christine Dacera's friends, who were also respondents in her case, recalled their final hours with her while celebrating New Year's Eve in a Makati hotel.

In a press conference on Thursday, the respondents reiterated their innocence, saying Christine died of natural causes.

"Wala akong nakikitang isang matinding dahilan para gawin ng mga tao sa [Room] 2209 yung foul play na binibintang nila sa amin or binibintang nilang nangyari kay Tin. Dahil lahat ng tao dun isa lang ang gustong mangyari, kundi magsaya," said JP Dela Serna.

[Translation: I don’t see any reason for anyone in Room 2209 to do such foul play just like what they are accusing us of, or making conclusions about what happened to Tin. Because everyone there just wanted to have fun.]

Clark Rapinan, who introduced himself as a nurse, recalled that Dacera insisted to stay in the bathtub of their hotel room at City Garden Grand Hotel as she was vomiting.

"Simula nung gabing yun na bumalik siya ng kwarto, dun na siya simulang sumuka ng sumuka. Ina-assist namin siya...nakaluhod siya sa bowl at sumusuka, after nun lilinisan namin siya," he said.

[Translation: Since that night she returned to the room, she started to vomit. We were assisting her...she was kneeling down and after vomiting we would clean her up.]

After that, her friends brought her back to bed. Later on, she told her friends she would vomit again and went back to the bathroom.

"Tumayo siya at pumunta siya sa banyo, sinundan ko siya...pagdating ko dun, it’s about 8am or 8:15, nasa baththub siya and she is waiting na masuka," said Rapinan. "Tapos sabi ko sa kanya, bumalik ka na sa bed after niyan, siya mismo nagi-insist na dun siya magpapahinga kasi ayaw niyang masuka sa bed, ayaw niyang maihi sa bed."

[She stood up and went to the bathroom, I followed her...I saw her in the baththub and she was waiting to vomit. Then I told her to return to the bed after that, but she insisted that she would rest there because she does not want to make a mess on the bed.]

At around noon of January 1, another respondent Rommel Galido found Dacera in the bathroom and turning blue. He added that it took some time before they were able to bring her to the hospital.

READ: TIMELINE: The Christine Dacera Case

Valentine Rosales recalled that the wheelchair used to bring Dacera to the hotel clinic had no leg assist. It squeezed her legs between the frames and might have caused her bruises.

"Nung dumating yung medic, kumuha sila ng wheelchair, yung wheelchair na kinuha nila walang leg assist...tapos binuhat ko siya paupo sa wheelchair pero di siya maayos...sinasabi dapat may hahawak sa paa niya. Nakikita ko kasi naiipit yung legs niya sa may sidebars ng wheelchairs," he narrated.

[Translation: When the medic arrived, they got a wheelchair and it did not have a leg assist...I carried her to the wheelchair but she was not sitting properly...The medic was saying someone should hold her legs. I saw her legs were being squeezed between the sidebars of the wheelchair.]

She was declared dead on arrival at the Makati Medical Center due to ruptured aortic aneurysm.

However, the contusions found in her body were among the reasons cited by police for saying there was a foul play in her death.

Party drugs?

Dela Cerna confirmed their group went to the other room as one of their companions knew someone there. However, they did not stay long and went back to their room.

But he said a drunk Dacera had been visiting the other room back and forth.

"The other instances that she went to Room 2207 kasi nagiging makulit na siya (she was being playful) and she was drunk," Dela Cerna said.

Galido also claimed Dacera suspected that someone might have put something in her drink as she was not feeling well that time, but he shrugged it off.

"Nung gabing yun, tumabi siya sa akin at sabi niya, 'Sis, parang I feel something, nagi-iba yung pakiramdam ko. I think parang may naglagay sa drink’, sabi niya akin," he said. "Sabi ko, 'Kung ano pinagi-isip mo'."

[Translations: That night, she came to me and said, 'I feel different. I think someone put something on my drink'. I told her, 'You're just overthinking'."]

The respondents said there were no party drugs involved, only hard liquor and soda.

"Sobrang kulit niya. May time pa na lahat kami pinaghahalikan niya. Sobrang enjoy lang siya siguro pag naglalasing, ine-enjoy niya lang yung company namin. Kasi alam niya sa sarili niya na walang gagalaw sa kanya, walang mananakit sa kanya," Galido said.

[Translation: She was very playful. There was a time she kissed each one of us. She was just having fun whenever she gets drunk and just enjoying our company. Because she knows nothing bad will happen to her when she's with us.]

The respondents said it was impossible for them to hurt Christine, whom they considered a younger sister.

"Walang may kayang gumawa ng pambababoy kay Tin, wala sa aming magkakaibigan," Rapinan said.

[Translation: No one among our group could have done something brutal to Tin.]

Dela Serna, Galido, and another respondent John Paul Reyes Halili were taken into police custody on Monday. They were released on Wednesday after the Makati City Prosecutor's Office noted that more evidence is needed to determine if the case was a rape-slay.

There are 11 respondents in Dacera's case.

Preliminary investigations have been set for 10 a.m. of January 13.

Dacera’s remains have been brought to General Santos City for a private funeral.