8 fratmen in fatal hazing case charged, jailed PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 November 2015 15:12

By VIC LARATO and DAN TORIBIO JR.

 

City Prosecutor Ricardo G. Cabaron has ordered the filing of charges before the Regional Trial Court for violation of R.A 8049, otherwise known as the Anti-Hazing Law, against 10 officers and members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity in connection with the fatal hazing of a “pledge” (an aspirant frat member) last Sept. 30.

In a three-age inquest resolution dated Oct. 26, Prosecutor Cabaron identified the fratmen as Cyril Guazon Pelinggon, grand triskelion and president of the Tau Gamma Phi- WMSU Chapter; Bryan Alviar Martines, internal and external grand triskelion; Fernando Bongcawel Paluray, associate master initiator; Johnrae Directo Sarte, master keeper of the chest (treasurer); Nathaniel Cepera Tagapon, Ian Harvey Libutan Bangayan, Wendell Stephanne Tabilon Tuvillara, and Rene Bayona Aquines, all of same fraternity and students the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU).

Two other respondents, Reynaldo Aguila and Jhenesis Balais, remained at large.

Cabaron said the respondents were arrested on September 30, 2015 for allegedly hazing to death a pledge, Anthony Javier y Dalmacio, during the initiation rites earlier that day in Pasonanca.

Assisted by their respective counsels, the respondents signed a waiver of their rights under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, and requested that a preliminary investigation be conducted.

Subsequently, subpoenas were issued to the respondents, requiring them to submit their respective counter-affidavits and other countervailing evidence. They received their subpoenas on Oct. 2 and promptly requested for another 10-day extension.

The prosecutor, however, denied the request for extension, saying the period was unreasonable and dilatory in nature.

Respondents Pelinggon, Paluray, Sarte, Tagapon, Tuvillara and Aquines, through counsel, filed an urgent omnibus motion dated Oct. 15, questioning their arrest, and prayed to expunge from the record the affidavit of the witness, Jan Eric G. Galvez.

They claimed that the witness was also a suspect and therefore the police taking his testimony had committed grievous error as he was not represented by a lawyer during the investigation.

After careful evaluation of the facts and evidence on record of the case, Prosecutor Cabaron found reasonable ground to believe that the respondents violated Section 1 and penalized under Section 4(1) of RA 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law, and they appear to be responsible for Javier’s death.

“They must all be held for trial,” the city prosecutor ordered in the case filed for inquest by the victim’s father, Maricel D. Javier, for violation of the anti-hazing law.

Except for Aguila and Balais who were at large, the six were committed to the city jail.

The case was raffled off to the sala of Judge Gregorio Dela Peña III of the Regional Trial Court.

All the accused cannot post bail because the case filed against them is a non-bailable.

To recall, the hazing happened around 9 a.m. on September 30 at Climaco Park in Sitio Abong-Abong near the Helmet where Anthony Javier and two others underwent initiation rites to become members of Tau Gamma Phi. Reportedly, the fraternity’s older members started mauling them until they fell unconscious.

The three were taken to the hospital, but the Javier died while undergoing treatment.

The eight suspects were arrested and detained after they were charged for hazing before the prosecutor office/ They availed of the 15-day waiver.

After the waiver expired, the eight accused were brought back to court and a commitment order was issued by Judge Dela Peña.

Police said that Aguila and Balais will be arrested as soon they would serve the warrant.

As this developed, Mayor Beng Climaco welcomed the prosecutor’s recommendation as she showed great interest for the speedy resolution of the case and to give hope to the victim’s family and friend, and that justice be served.

This being the first hazing incident under her mayorship, Climaco assured the public that the city government will not tolerate any form of violence, especially involving the youth.

 

At the same time, the chief executive has encouraged school administrators to be watchful of any student-led organization that requires the infliction of physical harm on would-be members. — Vic Laratoand Dan Toribio