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Murder of Filipina flight attendant draws church condemnation

Suspected New Year gang rape, murder spark outrage in Philippines

Murder of Filipina flight attendant draws church condemnation

Christine Dacera was found dead in a Manila hotel room on New Year's Day. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Airlines)

A Catholic priest has condemned the murder and possible gang rape of a flight attendant who was found dead in a hotel room in the Philippine capital Manila on New Year’s Day.

The murder of Christine Dacera, 23, who worked for Philippine Airlines, sparked a national outcry when it was reported that up to 11 men could have been involved in her death.

The attendant was spotted at a New Year’s Eve party with 11 men at the City Garden Hotel in Makati City shortly before her body was found in a hotel bathtub.

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Police believe she may have been raped by one or more of the group before being murdered.

Father Rosalindo Rodriguez of Tagum Diocese in Davao province called the killing a diabolical and “highly unchristian” act.

“This heinous crime [was] an attack not only on one woman but on all women who deserve respect and protection,” he said in a radio interview.

Rodriguez warned police not to allow pandemic restrictions to get in the way of giving justice to Dacera’s family.

“I know Covid-19 has somehow paralyzed us, but certainly it has not paralyzed our desire for justice to bring peace to our society,” he said.

Father Rodriguez’ comment came after police announced the arrest of three of the 11 suspects.

He challenged the government to help Dacera’s family achieve the justice they deserved if it emerged drugs were involved.

If that were the case, the priest said, if the government was sincere in fighting illegal drugs, Dacera’s case should be a priority.

“Over the past few years we have been made to believe that illegal drugs were the enemy. Now that we could be faced with an actual situation … let our authorities continue the battle with illegal drugs through a swift investigation of this case,” he said.

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