The son of Filipino singer Claire dela Fuente, one of 11 men charged in connection with the alleged rape and killing of flight attendant Christine Dacera, has denied involvement in the crime.
In an interview with news programme QRT, Gregorio Angelo Rafael de Guzman called the accusation that he raped Dacera “absurd”. “How can there be rape? I’m gay. I have never had sex with a woman,” he said, as Coconuts reported.
“What they are saying is painful. They don’t know what happened.”
Christine Angelica “Tin” Dacera was found dead in a bathtub in City Garden Hotel in Poblacion, Makati City after celebrating New Year’s Eve with her colleagues. Her killing sparked shock and outrage across the Philippines, prompting many to decry rape culture and violence against women.
Police charged suspects with homicide as well as rape due to the presence of bruises, lacerations and fluids on Dacera’s body, CNN Philippines reports, though the Makati City prosecutor’s office has said there was not enough evidence to establish if she had been raped or sexually assaulted.
The cause of Dacera’s death also remains unclear, though an initial medico-legal report obtained by CNN Philippines said she died of natural causes, specifically a “ruptured aortic aneurysm”. Dacera’s family are disputing the findings and seeking another autopsy, claiming the report does not mention other injuries she sustained.
De Guzman also claimed that he performed CPR on Dacera, and that he and other partygoers brought Dacera to the hospital and even made a police report.
“We were there. We did not abandon Tin until the end. We did not leave her behind; so what they are saying is just painful,” he said.
‘Sayang’ singer dela Fuente has also defended her son, claiming he called her to tell her about Dacera’s death. “We have nothing to hide. And I believe my son because he called me. He said, ‘Ma, there’s a situation here. I think this girl is dead,’” she said.
“My son is gay. That’s hard to admit. I know that since he was a child,” she added. “I’m really scared. I just want people to be fair. We are expecting fair play here. We’re seeking justice too for Tin.”
Three of the 11 suspects in the case were arrested and released on Wednesday (January 6). The other eight, including de Guzman, have not been taken into custody and were labelled as “at large”, though de Guzman has claimed he is not in hiding and ready to cooperate with the authorities.