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Hold order sought against UP frat men

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 04:16 AM July 03, 2015

Prosecution lawyers have asked the judge handling the case against five Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity members to issue a hold departure order (HDO) against the accused to prevent them from leaving the country.

The motion was filed on Wednesday before Judge Charito Gonzales of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 80 who is hearing the frustrated murder and illegal possession of ammunition charges filed against Cheran Cabrito, Elias Miles Villanueva, Rudolf Gene Karlo Neral, Rannie Mercado and Sean Rodriguez. The motion has been submitted for resolution.

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The five are accused of assaulting several members of a rival fraternity, the Alpha Sigma, on the University of the Philippines (UP) campus in Diliman, Quezon City, on June 18.

On that day, a group of masked men wielding lead pipes beat up UP students and Alpha Sigma fraternity members Jesus Blas Vitangcol and Joevie dela Cruz on the campus before fleeing in a blue Mazda.

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Alerted about the incident, two other Alpha Sigma members identified as Ernesto Luis Pangalangan and Mario Andrefanio Santos II went to the area an hour later but were also attacked by masked men wielding lead pipes who fled in a silver Peugeot van.

The UP Diliman police managed to chase the van and apprehended the accused on Himlayan Road corner Tandang Sora Avenue.

“We’re asking the court to issue a hold departure order against all of the accused to prevent them from leaving the country and [evading] the processes of the court,” said Marcelino Arias Jr., one of the lawyers representing the complainants.

“Considering the gravity of the crime that they are being accused of, it is not remote that someone will try to flee,” said another private prosecution lawyer, Reynold S. Munsayac.

“They have fraternity brothers [who] are well-connected. We cannot discount the fact that they may, if they want to, evade the ends of justice,” Arias added.

The hearing on Wednesday was originally meant to hear the omnibus motion for preliminary investigation filed by the accused’s camp.

Earlier, defense lawyer Alex Avisado told reporters that his clients had been “falsely implicated,” claiming that the evidence against them was “planted” by the UP police. He also said that the accused’s group had nothing to do with the attack on Vitangcol because it involved another car.

Gonzales, meanwhile, ordered the prosecution lawyers to file their comment to the omnibus motion within five days before it could be submitted for resolution. With Jinky Cabildo

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TAGS: frat men, Hold Departure Order, Judge Charito Gonzales, Quezon City Regional Trial Court, University of the Philippines, UP Diliman, UP Frat Men, Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity
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