LIST: Hazing deaths in the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines — The hazing and consequent killing of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig recently sent shockwaves across the country, but Salilig is far from being an isolated case, with fraternity-related deaths dating back to the 1950s.
Fraternities—an organization that promises brotherhood—have often taken hold in academic circles in the countries, with most frat-related hazing deaths being recorded among students. INQUIRER.net has compiled a number of these recorded deaths.
Gonzalo Mariano Albert — 1954
A member of the Upsilon Sigma Phi at the University of the Philippines (UP), Albert is considered the first hazing-related death in the country. He died in 1954 during the fraternity’s initiation rights. Late president Ramon Magsaysay had even formed a committee to investigate his death.
Mel Honasan — 1976
Mel Honasan, the brother of former senator Gregorio Honasan, also died at the hands of the Beta Sigma Fraternity while he was a student at San Sebastian college. He died of an internal hemorrhage, his body containing bruises and contusions.
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Lenny Villa — 1991
A student of the Ateneo de Manila Law School, Villa, died due to his injuries after the hazing rights of the Aquila Legis. A total of 26 members of the said fraternity were convicted in 1993, but 19 of them were later acquitted in 2002.
Marvin Reglos — 2012
A student from San Beda Law, Reglos was killed during the hazing rites of the Lambda Rho Beta fraternity. When the suspects were apprehended, their cell phones contained messages telling them to erase their texts.
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Guillo Cesar Servando — 2014
Servando was a College of Saint Benilde student and would become one of the multiple recorded deaths affiliated with the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity. He was 18 when he died inside a condo unit along Taft Avenue in Manila after undergoing hazing rites. The cases against five frat members were initially junked but revived in 2018 by the Court of Appeals.
Horacio Castillo III — 2017
The University of Sto. Tomas student Castillo was dead, wrapped in a blanket on a Tondo sidewalk. He was a member of the Aegis Juris fraternity. In 2018, 10 arrest warrants were handed out to fraternity members allegedly involved. The members petitioned to have their cases dropped, but this was denied by a Manila court in 2022.
Darwin Dormitorio — 2019
Dormitorio was a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy. While unrelated to any fraternity, Dormitorio died at the hands of his fellow cadets, enduring several beatings from higher-up cadets. He was found unconscious during the wakeup call and was later pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital.
Ronnel M. Baguio — 2022
After the case of Salilig went public, the Public Attorney’s Office disclosed the killing of Baguio, who was reported dead in December 2022. He had joined the Tau Gamma Phi while studying at the University of Cebu. After undergoing initiation rites from the fraternity, Baguio reportedly incurred injuries that led to his death.
John Matthew Salilig — 2023
Salilig’s death is the most recent among the reported hazing fatalities. Also a member of Tau Gamma Phi, Salilig underwent “welcome rites” but died due to reported injuries. He was then buried in a shallow grave. His fraternity brothers reportedly refused to bring Salilig to a hospital after he started having a seizure during the hazing.
— With reports from Kimberly D. Albaño and Meralyn Melitante, Inquirer.net trainees