LUCENA CITY ? Fraternity hazing has again taken another life, that of college student Chester Paulo Abracias, 18, after more than 20 alleged members of Tau Gamma Phi (TGP) Fraternity, half of them women, beat him to death during initiation rites.
?He was so young. Why did they beat him to death in that senseless initiation? That?s not brotherhood. They are killers. They killed him,? Nimfa Abracias, the victim?s mother, told the Inquirer Thursday.
She stared at her son?s white coffin in the sala of their home in Intertown Subdivision in nearby Pagbilao town.
?I don?t want to see him lying dead. I want to remember him just like the way I knew him, a good son and a loving brother to his siblings,? she said.
Abracias, a sophomore Marine Technology student at the Enverga University (EU) in Lucena City, was found dead Aug. 2.
His body was wrapped in banana leaves and a blanket in a coconut plantation in Barangay Mate in nearby Tayabas town.
Farmer Adan Rabuel told police that before he found the body, a group of teenage boys and girls were seen conducting initiation rites in the place.
The victim was the second eldest among five siblings who wanted to follow the footsteps of his father, Jose, a seaman. Jose will arrive from Australia Monday.
One of the fraternity members, a senior criminology student also from the same university, surrendered to police.
A source in the fraternity, who, fearing for his life, requested anonymity, said more than 20 fraternity members took part in the rites. At least 15 of them were female, the source said.
The source said one fraternity member wanted to bring Abracias to the hospital but was prevented by a certain ?Gando,? a fraternity leader.
?The victim could have survived,? said the source.
He said Gando was afraid that if Abracias was brought to the hospital, the fraternity members? identities would be revealed and charges would be filed.
The fraternity man who turned himself in was bothered by his conscience, according to the source.
Senior Supt. Fidel Posadas, Quezon police chief, said at least five TGP members and several unidentified men had been charged in court.
?Once the one who surrendered spills out the names of the rest of the perpetrators, we will amend the charge sheet to include the others,? he said over the phone.
He called on fraternity members to stop hazing as it is against the law.
Under Republic Act No. 8049 (Anti-Hazing Law), if a person dies due to hazing, the officers and members of the fraternity, sorority or organization who took part in the hazing shall be liable as principals and may be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Nimfa said Quezon Gov. Rafael Nantes, a TGP member, visited the wake Tuesday evening.
Nimfa said EU officials also visited and offered help.