Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (Screengrab from Laging Handa briefing)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday said it will be up to the Makati City prosecutors handling the case against individuals charged for the death of flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera to determine which way the case will lean once the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) completes its parallel forensics investigation.

In a Laging Handa briefing, Guevarra said he is hoping there would not be major differences between the findings of the NBI forensics experts and that of the Philippine National Police (PNP) which had earlier ruled that Dacera died of natural causes.

“We’re hoping na di na magkakaroon ng divergence pero sakaling mang mangyari yun, hindi ko pa naman talaga nakikita yung report ng NBI syempre magkakaroon ng confusion pag nangyari yan (We are hoping there will not be a divergence (from the PNP report) but if that happens and I haven't really seen the NBI report, there might be confusion),” he said.

In that case, Guevarra said it will be up to the prosecutor to weigh both the NBI and PNP reports to determine which is more convincing in determining whether or not there had been foul play in the incident.

Ang nakikita kong mangyayari dyan sa situation like that ay 'yung investigating prosecution na nagko-conduct ng PI (preliminary investigation) will probably call clarificatory hearing as part of PI at maaaring tanungin nya ang representatives ng PNP at NBI kung ano ang kanilang scientific basis for their findings and I supposed made-determine naman ng investigating prosecutor kung alin ang bibigyan nya ng mas mabigat na timbang kung may probable cause dito sa kaso na finile ng pamilya ni Christine Dacera (If that happens I foresee the investigating prosecutor conducting the preliminary investigation will probably call a clarificatory hearing as part of the PI and ask PNP and NBI representatives for their scientific basis for their findings and to allow the investigating prosecutor to determine which should be given more weigh in determining there is probable case in the case filed by the family),” he added.

Guevarra said the ultimate issue in the complaint to be determined by the prosecutors is whether there had been rape with homicide.

The PNP Crime Laboratory, in a medico-legal report released last week, said Dacera's death was caused by a ruptured aneurysm arising from possibly undiagnosed cardiovascular issues.

However, the Dacera family disputed the PNP's findings and insisted that a crime has been committed against the flight attendant. (PNA)