Only 3 of 20 tagged in hazing death appear for DOJ probe | Inquirer News
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Only 3 of 20 tagged in hazing death appear for DOJ probe

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 03:34 AM August 01, 2014

CCTV photo carrying victim Guillo Cesar Servando inside One Archer Condominium Unit. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Three of the 20 people being linked to the death of hazing victim Guillo Cesar Servando faced the three fraternity neophytes who survived the ordeal, as the preliminary investigation of the case got under way at the Department of Justice on Thursday.

The DOJ proceedings mainly saw the submission of affidavits from Kurt Michael Almazan and Luis Solomon Arevalo, who have been provisionally admitted to the government’s witness protection program, and suspect Steven Jorge Peñano, who presented an alibi to distance himself from the fatal June 28 hazing rites of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity.

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The three surviving neophytes—John Paul Raval, Lorence Anthony Agustin and another freshman who is a minor, all from the De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB)—also filed affidavits as witnesses, recounting their torture and the events leading to Servando’s death.

Peñano questioned his inclusion in the list of suspects, saying he was not even named in the affidavits executed by Almazan, Arevalo and Jemar Pajarito, another suspect suspect who served as the caretaker of the house in Barangay (village) Palanan, Makati City, which the frat used for the hazing.

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He claimed he was in school with his girlfriend and later with other friends in a mall the whole day of June 28. Peñano also pointed out that he never went to the condominium on Taft Avenue, Manila, where Servando and the other neophytes met up before the initiation rites and were brought back afterwards.

Peñano admitted being a TGP member before he entered college but said he had already severed ties with the fraternity upon his parents’ advice and in compliance with DLS-CSB policy.

“I am respectfully asking the dismissal of the complaint against me, also because my continued yet unfair and unjust inclusion in the case and in its proceedings and the mere mention of my name in the media, has already adversely affected me, my reputation in the community and in my beloved alma mater, my serious effort to focus on the completion of my academic course, my graduation, my on-the-job training and my family (sic),” he said.

In his affidavit, the underaged neophyte said he was assigned by his TGP masters to bring ammonia to the hazing site while Servando was ordered to bring chili. He said the neophytes and other fraternity members first met at the condo unit of one of the suspects, Daniel Paul Martin Bautista, at One Archer’s Place on Taft.

Upon arriving at the Makati frat house around 6 p.m., the neophytes were briefed by Bautista who told them to drink plenty of water and “just take all the hits they would give us.” They were also advised to sniff the ammonia or eat chili to endure the pain and avoid losing consciousness.

The paddling session took place in the garage of the house. “I was hit several times with a paddle on the back of my thighs. I cannot remember how many hits they gave me; (maybe) about 100. When I was about to pass out, someone gave me ammonia and sili. They also gave me chocolates. Sometimes I was turned upside down so that I could recover. Despite these efforts, I passed out several times during the paddling session,” the witness said.

When the initiation rites ended around 9 p.m., the neophytes were brought back to One Archer’s Place. They were exhausted and Servando had to be assisted by a fraternity member.

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An hour later, Servando was found unconscious. Bautista and two other fraternity members arrived and tried to revive him through cardiopulmonary resuscitation. When they failed, they hurried out of the condominium unit and left Servando near the main door.

The panel of DOJ prosecutors, headed by Stewart Allan Mariano, gave the suspects who did not show up until Aug. 14 to submit their affidavits.

Raval, Agustin and the younger neophyte were given until Aug. 14 to decide whether to file their own complaints since they were also hazing victims.

Two other suspects were listed in the case records only as “Bea” and “Kiko,” while another remained unidentified.

Four other suspects—Esmerson Nathaniel Calupas, Hans Killian Tatlonghari, Eleazar Pablico III and John Kevin Navoa—have already left the country, according to the Bureau of Immigration.

The suspects are facing complaints for violating the antihazing law, which carries penalties ranging from four years to life imprisonment.

Originally posted at 8:45 pm | Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Servando’s father, hazing suspects face off at DOJ

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TAGS: Anti-Hazing Law, Crime, Department of Justice, Guillo Servando, Hazing death, Homicide, Justice, law, News, preliminary investigation, Republic Act 8049
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