What Went Before
ON JUNE 28, 2014, the body of Guillo Cesar Servando, a sophomore student at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB), was found by the police inside a unit at One Archer’s Place in Manila, after he allegedly sustained injuries in fraternity hazing rites.
Three other Benilde students identified as John Paul Raval, 18, the owner of the condo unit; Lorenze Agustin, 18; and a 17-year-old boy were also found to have suffered similar injuries and immediately taken to the hospital. All four had hematomas (a mass of clotted blood which forms in a tissue, organ or body space due to a broken blood vessel) on their backs and thighs.
The four students were recruits of the Tau Gamma Phi (TGP) fraternity chapter at DLS-CSB.
Raval had called the Patrol 117 hotline of the Philippine National Police after Servando, a Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management student, lost consciousness inside his unit.
The four neophytes said earlier that day, they had met with a man who identified himself only as “Aircon” in front of a fast food restaurant on Taft Avenue just beside De La Salle University.
Along with several companions, Aircon and the four victims got into a green Honda CRV where the latter were blindfolded before they were driven to a two-story house in Barangay Palanan in Makati.
For three hours, the four of them were beaten up by around 15 individuals who used belts, paddles or their fists before they were driven back to Raval’s condominium unit by two men.
Three days later, Jomar Pajarito, one of the suspects and a TGP member, was the first to surrender to Manila police. He claimed to be the caretaker of the Makati property. Police later found out that Pajarito fed the victims chili and chocolates and made them sniff ammonia to keep them from passing out during their ordeal.
On July 9, 2014, two more frat members—including one stricken with cancer—surrendered to authorities to offer their help in the investigation in the hopes of clearing their names in the death of Servando.
Two days later, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed charges for violations of the Anti-Hazing Law against 20 people. Named in the complaint were Cody Errol Morales, Daniel Paul Martin Bautista, Kurt Michael Almazan, Luis Solomon Arevalo, Carl Francis Loresca, Pajarito, Vic Angelo Dy, Mark Andrew Ramos, Michael David Castañeda, Steven Jorge Peñano, Justin Francis Reyes, Ma. Teresa Dayanghirang, a certain Kiko, one alias Bea, and a Jane Doe.
Five other suspects, meanwhile, reportedly left the country: John Kevin Navoa, Esmerson Nathaniel Calupas, Hans Killian Tatlonghari, Alyssa Federique Valbuena and Eleazar Pablico III.
The Anti-Hazing Law carries penalties ranging from four years to life imprisonment. The lightest penalty applies if the hazing results in injuries that did not affect the victim’s daily activities, while the maximum sentence is for initiation rites that result in death.
On July 31, only three of the 20 suspects showed up in the initial proceedings. They were Almazan and Arevalo, who were provisionally admitted to the government’s witness protection program, and suspect Peñano, who presented an alibi to distance himself from the June 28 incident. Inquirer Archives
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