What Went Before: Killing and dying for ‘brotherhood’
Republic Act No. 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995 prohibits physical violence during initiation rites of fraternities and similar organizations and penalizes with life imprisonment activities that result in “death, rape, sodomy or mutilation.”
Despite the tough law, however, hazing continues to claim the lives of hapless neophytes.
On July 30, 2012, Marc Andre Marcos, 21, a freshman law student from San Beda College, died from injuries inflicted during the hazing rites of Lex Leonum Fraternitas (LLF) in a farm in Dasmariñas City, Cavite province.
The National Bureau of Investigation said 36 members (22 from San Beda-Alabang, 10 from San Beda-Manila, and four still unidentified) of LLF were charged with violation of the antihazing law in the Dasmariñas prosecutor’s office, including Gian Angelo Velus, the son of the farm owner.
Five months earlier, another San Beda law freshman, Marvin Reglos, 25, succumbed to injuries allegedly sustained during the hazing rites of Lambda Rho Beta in an Antipolo City resort on Feb. 19, 2012.
Two students linked to the fraternity—Bodjie Bobby Yap and Eric Castillo—were later arrested and detained. Police also charged fraternity leader Eduardo Escobal and 15 others with murder.
On Sept. 15, 2011, Nor Silongan, 16, a criminology student at Notre Dame of Tacurong College, died from injuries inflicted during the hazing rites of Tau Gamma Phi. Charges were filed against the suspects whose identities had been withheld.
On Oct. 27, 2010, Noel Borja, 17, an Alternative Learning Systems student, was found stuffed inside a plastic drum by the Pasig River near the Parola compound in Manila. A fellow neophyte, Nilo Abarratigue, told authorities that he and Borja received 60 paddle whacks and were punched for at least 60 seconds by members of TGP.
On Aug. 15, 2010, the bruised body of 19-year-old EJ Karl Intia, a University of Makati student, was retrieved from a ravine in Sta. Maria, Laguna province, after undergoing initiation into Alpha Phi Omega. Eleven fraternity members have been charged in the case.
On July 18, 2010, Menardo Clamucha Jr., 18, a second year criminology student at the University of Iloilo, died from heavy beatings, prompting the filing of a criminal complaint against 25 members of Kapatiran ng mga Kabataang Kriminolohiya in Pototan, Iloilo province.
In August 2008, Chester Paulo Abracias, 18, a sophomore marine technology student at Enverga University in Lucena City, died after more than 20 members of the TGP allegedly beat him to death. His body was found wrapped in banana leaves and a blanket in a coconut plantation.
On May 5, the Supreme Court upheld the convictions of five members of Scintilla Juris fraternity who were found guilty of murdering Dennis Venturina, a member of the rival Sigma Rho fraternity, during a rumble on the University of the Philippines Diliman campus in December 1994.
The high court’s Third Division, voting 3-2, affirmed the sentences of reclusion perpetua meted out by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court on Daniel Feliciano Jr., Julius Victor Medalla, Christopher Soliva, Warren Zingapan and Robert Michael Beltran Alvir.
Venturina, then a law student, and his fraternity mates were eating lunch at the Beach House Canteen near the UP main library on Dec. 8, 1994, when they were attacked by several masked men wielding baseball bats and lead pipes.
In February 2012, the Supreme Court set aside the conviction for homicide of Aquila Legis Juris fraternity member Fidelito Dizon and instead found him guilty of a lesser offense—reckless imprudence resulting in homicide—for the death of Leonardo “Lenny” Villa in February 1991 during Aquila’s initiation rites.
Villa, a freshman from Ateneo Law School, died of serious physical injuries sustained from three days of bloody hazing rites of Aquila Legis Juris in a house in Caloocan.
The high tribunal set aside the findings of the Court of Appeals in January 2002 which found only two accused—Dizon and Artemio Villareal—guilty of homicide. They were sentenced to 17 years in jail. Villareal died in 2011. All of those convicted had been set free.
Six more hazing related deaths took place after Villa’s death, leading to the enactment of the Anti-Hazing Law in 1995. Rafael L. Antonio, Inquirer Research; Source: Inquirer Archives
News handpicked by our editors
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.