Cops urge two hazing victims to file charges
CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna—Police said the efforts of two hazing victims, who voluntarily went to the Cavite police office on Friday, were not enough unless they formally testified and pressed charges against the fraternity members allegedly responsible for the death of San Beda law student Marc Andre Marcos.
“We are considering their fear of antagonizing [the fraternity members] or of being ostracized, but we will still convince them by talking to their relatives,” Chief Superintendent James Melad, Calabarzon police director, said Monday.
Melad was referring to Ryan Christopher Maranan and Ephraim Daniel “Ed” Lara, the two new members of the Lex Leonum fraternity who underwent the same initiation rites as victim Marcos. Marcos, a freshman law student at San Beda College in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, suffered severe injuries that led to his death.
According to the guardian of Maranan, who refused to be identified, the two victims came forward “out of respect” for the police, whose help the guardian had earlier sought to find Maranan. It was not their intention to press charges.
Maranan’s parents are out of the country while Lara’s uncle, former Cagayan Gov. Edgar Lara, has been contacted by police.
Maranan and Lara had initially identified suspect Gian Angelo Veluz as their “handler” during the initiation. Veluz’s family owns the 10-hectare farm in Dasmariñas, Cavite, where the hazing allegedly took place.
Asked if there would be any legal implications should the two refuse to testify, Melad said that under the hazing law, if one knows what happened and did not do something about it, “there is still complicity.”
“It’s not that we refuse or we want to testify [against the fraternity]. The boys had already executed their statements to the police based on what they knew and with due consideration to all parties. Now let the police deduce [information from those statements],” the guardian said.
The Philippine National Police on Monday named two alleged members of Lex Leonum who would be included as respondents in the murder case the police filed in connection with the death of Marcos.
Supt. Romeo Desiderio, Cavite police spokesperson, said Cornelio Marcelo and a certain Mark, believed to be members of Lex Leonum, would be added as primary accused in the death of Marcos.
A cousin of the victim said Marcelo had sent him several text messages before and after Marcos was supposedly subjected to a severe physical beating as part of the fraternity’s initiation rites.
“We already have the affidavits of the two other neophytes who were with the victim at the time of the incident,” Desiderio said in a news briefing in Camp Crame.
He said six other San Beda students had completed the initiation rites on the night Marcos died.
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