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St. Benilde sophomore dies in fraternity hazing

A funeral attendant covers the body of Guillo Cesar Servando, believed to have died in initiation rites of the Alpha Kappa Rho. EDD GUMBAN

MANILA, Philippines - At around 5:30 p.m. last Saturday, college sophomore Guillo Cesar Servando and three fellow students were picked up at a condominium building in Manila by members of the Alpha Kappa Rho (Akrho) fraternity.

Four hours later, the four were brought back to One Archers Place along Taft Avenue in Malate, Manila by the Akrho members. Servando, an 18-year-old student of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), was severely bruised and lifeless.

His companions, also beaten black and blue, were rushed to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). Police identified them as John Paul Raval, 18, of One Archers Place; Lorenze Agustin, 18, of Prime City towers in San Antonio Village, Makati; and a 17-year-old CSB student whose name was withheld because he is a minor.

Police said Servando, a student of hotel and restaurant management and resident of 8809 Sampaloc St., San Antonio Village, was killed apparently in fraternity initiation rites.

Raval told members of the Manila Police District that they were picked up from his unit at One Archers Place by members of the Akrho-University of Santo Tomas chapter Saturday afternoon for their initiation.

He said the fraternity members used a green Honda CRV with no license plates. The neophytes were blindfolded on the way to a house where the initiation rites were held.

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At around 9:33 p.m., Raval said they were taken back to his condominium unit by the fraternity men.

While resting, Raval said they noticed that Servando was lying lifeless, prompting them to call for a Manila Red Cross emergency ambulance.

The Red Cross rescue team, however, informed them that Servando was dead. Raval and the two other survivors were rushed to the PGH for treatment of their injuries.

The wake of Servando, a graduate of La Salle Greenhills, is being held at the school. He is a son of entrepreneur Taboy Servando.

CSB statement

Vice Chancellor Robin Serrano, in a statement posted on the official Facebook page of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, said the school mourns the death of one of its students and prays for the other victims of the hazing.

“This is a time of great sadness as De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde mourns the demise of one of our students and prays for the recovery of the other students who are also victims of a recent fraternity hazing incident,” the statement read.

“The Benildean Community sends its prayers to the students’ families and friends. During this difficult time, Benilde responds with utmost respect and deference to all who are affected and enjoins everyone to respect the privacy of the families.

“The College reiterates its prohibition of fraternities and fraternity-related violence. We will continue to fully cooperate with the police authorities as they investigate this deplorable incident.”

Hazing incident condemned

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, whose father is a former president of the University of the Philippines, yesterday advised fraternity groups that violence never makes a perpetrator or victim more of a man.

“True brotherhood means more,” Angara said in his Twitter account.

Senate deputy minority leader Vicente Sotto III also condemned the hazing incident.

He called on the Department of Justice to improve its record in the prosecution of cases related to fraternity violence.

Sotto said punishment would serve as a deterrent to fraternity and sorority groups using violence in their recruitment process.

“None of the previous hazing incidents have been solved,” Sotto said.

The latest hazing tragedy comes after the Supreme Court earlier this month upheld the murder conviction of five University of the Philippines fraternity members for the death of Dennis Venturina in a rumble almost 20 years ago. - With Christina Mendez

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