Phone from van of suspects in UP frat attacks subjected to digital forensics
A smartphone found inside the getaway van of students, the second group in a fraternity-related assault inside the University of the Philippines-Diliman last Thursday, will be submitted for digital forensic examination to determine conspiracy and help identify those belonging to the first group, a police official said on Tuesday.
“The cell phone will be submitted to the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group to check its contents—whether they communicated with each other, who are their contacts and if there was a plan to carry out the assault,” Supt. Richard Fiesta, commander of the Quezon City Police District-Anonas Station, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Fiesta said the plate number of the blue Mazda 3 (ZHB 967), the getaway vehicle of the first group of assailants, has also been submitted for verification at the Land Transportation Office.
The arrested students from the second group were established to be members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity in a dialogue held by Chancellor Michael Tan with the leaders of the two fraternities on Monday, according to Raphael Pangalangan, lord chancellor of Alpha Sigma.
After undergoing inquest proceedings, Cheran Cabrito (former councilor at the UP College of Arts and Letters), Elias Miles Villanueva (former councilor of the UP College of Fine Arts), Rudolf Gene Karlo Neral (UP alumnus and med student), Rannie Mercado and Sean Rodriguez were indicted for malicious mischief, slight physical injury and illegal possession of ammunition.
Three rounds of shotgun ammunition were found inside the van, together with the cell phone, five lead pipes, a baseball bat, a black ski mask and bloodstained tissue paper.
Cabrito, the driver of the Peugeot van, was also indicted for reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property when he bumped the Subaru of Mario Andrefanio Santos during the car chase.
Assistant city prosecutor Ramoncito Ocampo recommended a preliminary investigation on the frustrated murder complaint of Jesus Blas Vitangcol and the physical injury complaint of Joevie dela Cruz, noting a witness’ statement that the ones who hit the victims were able to escape.
Using lead pipes and a baseball bat, the masked assailants onboard the Mazda mauled Vitangcol on Thursday as he was walking inside the campus with Alpha Sigma frat-mate Dela Cruz.
About an hour later, a group of masked assailants got off a silver Peugeot van and thrashed the Land Rover of Ernesto Luis Martino Pangalangan, who responded to Dela Cruz’s call for help. Santos, who arrived onboard a Subaru, chased the attackers’ van as it sped away.
The UP Diliman Police, who was alerted by the lady guard who saw the attacks, were able to apprehend the passengers of the van along Himlayan Road at the corner of Tandang Sora Avenue.
The UP Diliman administration has preventively suspended the students pending a hearing on the attacks.
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