San Beda student died from 'severe beating'

Posted at 07/31/2012 7:14 PM | Updated as of 07/31/2012 10:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Severe bruises on his arms and legs led to the death of San Beda law student and alleged hazing victim Mark Andrei Marcos, a police medico-legal report revealed Tuesday.

Police said Marcos sustained severe bruises on his arms and legs, as well as a wound on his head.

His uncle, Atty. Jose Vener Ibarra, said his nephew was beaten black and blue.

"Let's just say ‘yung arms at legs niya kulay ube. ‘Yan ang sinasabi ko sa gumawa sa kanya - kulay ube," he said.

He added: "No one has to suffer this from people that they will call brothers. Wala. Walang dapat mamatay nang ganu’n. Kung sino man kayo hahanapin namin kayo. I pray that the criminal justice system will get you first."

San Beda law student government president Aubin Arn Nieva said the school administration has already implemented several rules and regulations to force fraternities to disband. "But then again, we seem to have underestimated these fraternities," he said.

Marvin Reglos

Social networking sites were abuzz over Marcos' death, which came just 5 months after another San Beda law freshman, Marvin Reglos, died during alleged initiation rites of the Lambda Rho Beta fraternity.

A National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) official earlier said Reglos died of kidney failure after a severe beating caused his skeletal muscle to secrete myoglobin or muscle protein, which affects the kidneys.

Police said they are investigating 3 school fraternities in the latest hazing death in San Beda. The 3 are Lambda Rho Beta, Lex Talionis and Lex Leonum.

Joe Aguila, law student and leader of the San Beda Law Human Rights Advocates, said the situation is hard on everyone.

“’Yung mga nasa labas ng eskwelahan namin, iba ‘yung tingin sa mga estudyante. Ang tingin sa amin ng iba mamamatay-tao ang lahat ng nag-aaral sa San Beda College of Law. Mahirap para sa isang estudyante na after ng isang incident ay mayroon na naman ulit. Mababansagan kami na nagbe-breed kami ng ganoong culture pero hindi ganoon e,” said Aguila.

Aguila also said San Beda took action following Reglos's death.

At their last enrollment, all students were required to sign a waiver allowing the school to expel anyone confirmed to have joined a fraternity.

“Nakakapangamba kasi may ginawa nang action ‘yung administration pero may nangyari pa din na ganoong incident,” Aguila said.

San Beda issued a statement late Tuesday, saying it has done all it can to discourage its students from joining fraternities but the groups do their recruiting under the radar.

San Beda is also launching its own investigation into the suspected hazing death.

“Kikilos din kami kung mayroong dapat parusahan, we will eventually be deciding on the penalties,“ said San Beda spokesman Atty. Rene Saguisag.

Fresh graduate

Relatives said Marcos wanted to become a lawyer because his grandfather, Martonino Marcos, was a judge. Other relatives were also lawyers.

Marcos graduated from the University of Santo Tomas earlier this year with a degree in Bachelor of Arts Legal Management. He then transferred to San Beda to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer.

Last Saturday, Marcos told his family that he had to work on a school project. Marcos failed to come home and his cell phone could not be contacted.

On Sunday, Marcos was rushed to the De La Salle University Medical Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite at around 8:45 p.m.

Doctors said Marcos had no vital signs and was comatose after being admitted at 11 p.m. He later died in the hospital at 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

3 men brought Marcos to hospital

Police, meanwhile, questioned a woman who brought the alleged hazing victim to the hospital.

Soledad Sanda of Sitio Visaya Amuntay Road, Barangay Zone 3, Dasmariñas, Cavite told police that she accompanied 3 men to the hospital Sunday night upon the request of a relative, Marlyn Guadayo.

Sanda said she was surprised that the 3 left quickly after Marcos was admitted to the hospital.

Both Sanda and Guadayo have not come home since Marcos' death.

Police said they are investigating whether the initiation rites that led to Marcos' death were conducted in the farm where Guadayo worked. They said the son of the farm's owner is also studying in San Beda-Alabang.

Cavite intelligence officials also went to San Beda-Alabang after receiving information that some of Marcos' companions are from the school.

Cycle of violence

Malacañang, meanwhile, condemned the latest incident of alleged hazing that claimed the life of another San Beda law student.

“Nakakagulat po ‘yung nangyari na mayroon na namang victim of alleged hazing. Sa akin pong pagkakaalam ay inutusan na po nu’ng hepe ng pulis doon na imbestigahan dahil late po yata na-confirm. Kung totoo man na ito ay biktima ng hazing, itigil na po natin ‘yung ganitong cycle of violence. Wala naman hong nagbe-benefit sa ganito eh,” deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte told reporters.

National Youth Commission Chairman Leon Flores III called for a stop to the "cycle of violence and impunity at the level of the academe."

"Let’s take the San Beda Administration to task on the actions they were supposed to have undertaken after the February incident," he said in a statement.

"It is not enough that school administrations await the results of criminal and administrative cases filed. The full force of the law should be applied to the perpetrators. However, the bigger key is that preventive steps are undertaken by schools to meaningfully engage the frats and orgs to achieve hazing-free schools and communities." -- With reports from Gus Abelgas, Jorge Cariño, Jeff Canoy, Jacque Manabat and Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News; ANC