DOJ summons 20 people in hazing case
MANILA - The Department of Justice yesterday summoned the 20 people involved in the fatal hazing of Guillo Servando last month.
The DOJ issued subpoenas mostly to members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity to appear before the investigating panel led by Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Allan Mariano on hearings set on July 31 and Aug. 7.
They were also directed to answer the charges of violation of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law filed last week by Servando’s father Aurelio.
The respondents, led by Cody Errol Morales, reported head of Tau Gamma Phi fraternity-De La Salle chapter, were slapped with charges of violation of Section 4 of RA 8049, which provides for penalty of life imprisonment for the crime of death by hazing.
The other respondents are Daniel Paul Bautista, Esmerson Calupas, Jemar Pajarito, Kurt Michael Almazan, Luis Solomon Arevalo, Carl Francis Loresca, Hans Killian Tatlonghari, Eleazar Pablico III, John Kevin Navoa, Vic Angelo Dy, Mark Andrew Ramos, Steven Jorge Peñano, Mike Castañeda, Tessa Dayanghirang, Alyssa Valbuena, Justice Francis Reyes, an alias Kiko, alias Bea and another unidentified suspect.
Morales and Bautista are the officers of the fraternity chapter who acted as the medics and tried to revive Servando after the initiation rites.
Pajarito, on the other hand, is the caretaker of the house in Barangay Palanan in Makati City where Servando, an 18-year-old student from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, and three other recruits underwent hazing by members of the fraternity on June 28.
Navoa, Calupas, Tatlonghari and Pablico, meanwhile, have left the country, according to the Bureau of Immigration.
Most of the male respondents are members of the fraternity while some of the female respondents are reportedly their girlfriends who also witnessed the incident.
The National Bureau of Investigation and Makati City Police jointly endorsed the complaint filed by the victim’s father after parallel investigation of the incident.
Investigators submitted to the DOJ as evidence the testimonies of Servando’s three fellow recruits who survived the initiation rites, as well as statements of two members of the fraternity who cooperated with authorities and were placed under provisional coverage of the witness protection program. Their names were withheld for security reasons.
Some of the witnesses detailed how the initiation process went. They recalled doing several tasks for a week before the final initiation rite – including pushing a car, various errands and being repeatedly slapped on their faces while the frat members were dining and drinking.
They said they were brought to the house in Makati City last June 28 where they were beaten up by at least 16 members of the fraternity.
During the hazing, those who remained standing after the beating were given six more “as a reward,” according to the witnesses.
One of the frat members revealed that while he did not participate in the actual beating of the neophyte, he was the one who stuffed hot chili in Servando’s mouth and made him bite it so that “his blood will circulate normally.”
He also made the recruit sniff ammonia to revive the neophyte every time he would pass out.
The witnesses, in their sworn affidavits, also revealed the fraternity members present at the initiation rites ordered Servando’s three “surviving” fellow neophytes to lie about the cause of his death. – With Danny Dangcalan