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De Lima to fiscals: Explain dismissal of Marcos hazing case

An Aug. 1, 2012 video grab from GMA-7 shows medical workers examining the body of Marc Andrei Marcos (inset).

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is puzzled by the dismissal of the criminal case against members of the Lex Leonum fraternity tagged in the hazing death of San Beda law student Marc Andrei Marcos. 

De Lima said she would look into circumstances behind the recent decision of Cavite Regional Trial Court Branch 90 Judge Perla Cabrera-Faller dismissing the charge for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law for lack of probable cause and ample evidence.

 “I don’t know yet what really happened in that case. I asked the handling prosecutor through Prosecutor General (Claro) Arellano to submit to me a report on that,” she said in a text message yesterday.

In its 22-page decision, Faller ruled the prosecution failed to present evidence to corroborate the testimony of state witness Cornelio Marcelo.

Faller said Marcelo’s statements did not prove conspiracy among the accused and were “practically evasive as to the actual participation of all the accused.”

 “No one is to be blamed for the death of Andrei Marcos… The court feels that it could suffer the flak of society, but it cannot in conscience consign all of the accused to the dust bin of history simply on the basis of the uncorroborated and incredible lone statement of Marcelo,” the judge added.

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Faller cleared Jenno Antonio Villanueva, Glenn Meduen, Emmanuel Jefferson Santiago, Richard Rosales, Mohamad Fyzee Alim, Chino Daniel Amante, Julius Alcancia, Edrich Gomez, Dexter Circa and Gian Angelo Veluz.

Marcos’ family was shocked by Faller’s verdict, vowing to appeal the decision up to the higher courts. 

Faller had ordered the arrest of the accused last June 3. But 10 days later, she recalled the arrest warrants after granting the plea of the accused for a judicial determination of probable cause.

Marcos, a law freshman at San Beda College, died allegedly during initiation rites of the Lex Leonum Fraternitas on July 30, 2012 in Silang, Cavite. The 21-year-old native of Ramos town in Tarlac was rushed to the De La Salle University Medical Center but succumbed to severe injuries.

 

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