VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Post on arrest of Christine Dacera’s ‘rapist-killer’ NOT TRUE

A video with over 1.7 million views on YouTube falsely claimed that the suspect who “raped and killed” flight attendant Christine Dacera has been caught by authorities.

Not true. The case of Dacera, who was found dead in a Makati City hotel following a New Year’s Eve celebration, remains unresolved.

The Jan. 18 video by YouTube channel MJ Journals had the false headline: “GUMAHASA AT PUMATAY KAY CHRISTINE DACERA, NAHULI NA (Christine Dacera’s rapist and killer has been caught).”

But the two-minute-and-51-second clip did not support this, and was actually a Jan. 15 People’s Television Network report about police threatening to file perjury cases against two respondents in the Dacera case, after they alleged that they were pressured to pin the blame on someone.

MJ Journals’ untrue post also spuriously used as its thumbnail a picture of Dacera spliced together with a photo of one of the respondents. The collage was overlaid with text which, translated from Filipino, read: “He is the real killer of Christine Dacera.” A red arrow pointed toward the man.

Police initially claimed Dacera’s case was a rape-slay, but the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office said on Jan. 6: “the pieces of evidence so far submitted are insufficient to establish that Dacera was sexually assaulted or raped.”

On Jan. 20, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas recommended the relief of Makati’s police chief and three others over alleged lapses in the conduct of investigations into Dacera’s case.

The false claim surfaced three days after a 13th hotel guest, tagged as a person of interest in the Dacera case and the man shown in MJ Journals’ thumbnail, appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation.

MJ Journals’ video was re-uploaded by Facebook page Best Ever Videos on Jan. 20, which got nearly 361,000 views, over 16,000 reactions, 1,300 comments, and 900 shares. It was also embedded in an article by website, which could have reached 36,000 people, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.

MJ Journals was created in November 2019, Best Ever Videos last November 2020, and in October 2018.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)


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About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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