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20 face hazing raps in Philippines
Publication Date : 11-07-2014
The number of suspects facing charges for the death of hazing victim Guillo Cesar Servando in Manila, Philippines keeps getting bigger. It now includes four women and fraternity members who may not have thrown a punch but watched approvingly as Servando’s Tau Gamma Phi (TGP) “masters” put him and three other neophytes through hours of torment.
The Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday said it was preparing complaints against a total of 20 people for involvement in the June 28 initiation rites that killed Servando and sent three other students of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde to the hospital.
The filing of the complaints was tentatively set for Friday, after the NBI obtained what it called a last-minute supplemental affidavit from Jomar Pajarito, one of the suspects and the caretaker of the TGP frat house in Makati City where the hazing took place.
Pajarito surrendered to the police two days after Servando’s death and led investigators to the house in Barangay (village) Palanan. He insisted, however, that he merely witnessed and did not participate in the beatings. Two witnesses later belied this, saying Pajarito even fed the neophytes with chili and chocolates, and also made them sniff ammonia to prevent them from fainting.
Handed over to the NBI by the Makati City police on Thursday, Pajarito, who earlier admitted being a TGP member, asked that he be treated as a state witness against the group.
He broke down and sought forgiveness from Servando’s father Aurelio when presented to the media.
In a brief interview with the Inquirer, Pajarito said the owner of the Palanan house had a grandson who was a TGP member, but the latter was not present during the June 28 hazing.
“The 20 suspects, including some John Does, will all be charged with violation of the Anti-Hazing Law,” Joel Tovera, chief of the NBI’s Death Investigation Division, said in a press conference. “Even those who were just present when the hazing was done, including some women, will be charged, as stated in the law.”
On the first day the Servando case was reported in the media, the police said it was looking at only 11 suspects.
A lookout bulletin order issued by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima also on Thursday identified 17 of the suspects, including two women. The order requires immigration officials to alert the NBI or the Department of Justice if any of the suspects are planning to leave the country.
The bulletin covers Pajarito; Esmerson Nathaniel Calupas, the master initiator; Cody Errol Morales, the Lord GT (Grand Triskelion) of the fraternity’s Benilde chapter; Daniel Paul Cruz Bautista, the frat secretary; Kurt Michael Almazan, Luis Solomon Arevalo, Carl Francis Loresca, Hans Killian Tatlonghari (alias Hans Tamaring), Eleazae “Trex” Pablico III, John Kevin Navoa, Vic Angelo Dy, Mark Ramos, Mike Castaneda, Tessa Dayanghirang, Yssa Valbuena, a certain “Rey Jay” and “Kiko.”
Two more women allegedly present during the hazing remained unidentified. The four were reportedly girlfriends of TGP members.
The Bureau of Immigration confirmed Wednesday that Navoa had already left for the United States on July 1.
Pete Principe, a lawyer for the Servando family, said the Anti-Hazing Law provides that everyone present at the hazing venue may be charged with the crime.
“As long as you are present and you did not prevent the infliction of injury and did not do anything to stop the initiation, you are considered a principal (suspect),” Principe said at the NBI media briefing.
Aurelio Servando, Guillo’s father, thanked the police and the NBI for making progress in the investigation but said “this is just the start of a long process.”
“The authorities will have to look for the suspects next, and the case still has to be heard,” he said.