Hazing victim kin want ‘helpful’ suspect spared | Inquirer News
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Hazing victim kin want ‘helpful’ suspect spared

/ 12:06 AM December 06, 2014

The family of hazing victim Guillo Servando wants one suspect to be turned into a state witness instead of being included among the 14 recently charged by the Department of Justice for the student’s death.

Servando’s father, Aurelio, said they were studying the possibility of filing a motion asking the DOJ to reconsider its resolution concerning Kurt Michael Almazan, who he said “helped us a lot in putting the case together.”

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“He is in a poor emotional state and will have to be transferred from a witness protection program to an ordinary jail. We are concerned about his safety,” Aurelio said of Almazan who, like his slain son, studied at the De la Salle-College of St. Benilde.

The DOJ on Tuesday said charges for violation of the antihazing law had been filed against 14 suspects, mostly members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity, for the fatal initiation rites that led to Servando’s death on June 28. The cases, to be heard in Makati City, could send the suspects to life imprisonment if they are found guilty.

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The DOJ panel that conducted the preliminary investigation said Almazan was included in the charge sheet because his claim that he was merely forced by a fellow suspect Cody Errol Morales to take part in the hazing remained uncorroborated and should be threshed out in a full-blown trial.

In an Inquirer interview earlier this week in Bacolod City, Aurelio said his family was happy that the case finally moved five months after his son’s death on June 28.

But aside from their concerns regarding Almazan, he questioned why two women earlier tagged as suspects—Ma. Theresa Dayangirang and Alyssa Federique Valbuena—were cleared of the charges despite their presence at the Makati City residence where the initiation rites were held.

The antihazing law states that mere presence at the hazing rites makes one liable for violation of the law, he said, warning that the women’s exclusion from the charges could set a bad precedent. Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas

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TAGS: Guillo Servando, hazing, Metro, State witness, suspects, Tau Gamma Phi fraternity
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