Tau Gamma member turns hazing witness
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - July 10, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A member of the Tau Gamma Phi has testified against his fraternity brothers on the death of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde student Guillo Servando during initiation rites last month, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday.

The fraternity member surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) late Tuesday and gave a sworn statement detailing his eyewitness account of the hazing incident last June 28.

De Lima said the fraternity member has been placed under provisional coverage of the Witness Protection Program (WPP).

She said the statement of the witness, whose name was withheld for security reasons, has substantially qualified him for provisional coverage of WPP.

In his affidavit, the witness admitted he was present during the initiation rites of Servando and fellow neophytes John Paul Raval, Lorenze Agustin and an unnamed minor at Barangay Palanan in Makati City.

“He was right there during the initiation rites, although he claims he never touched any of the neophytes. He had a role other than beating, punching and hitting the neophytes,” De Lima said.

No further details from the affidavit were made public by De Lima.

She said the suspect-turned-witness, accompanied by a lawyer, was also able to meet with Servando’s father Aurelio when he surrendered to the NBI.

In the brief conversation, the father of the victim said he would just allow the DOJ decide on which suspects to accept in the WPP.

De Lima revealed that another member of the fraternity has sent surrender feelers to the NBI.

She said the NBI would determine the role played by this second suspect during the initiation rites before talking to him.

“Even if he is not qualified to become state witness, if he’s willing to give a statement then the NBI can consider him,” De Lima said.

De Lima also confirmed the NBI was preparing to file charges for violation of Section 5 of the Anti-Hazing Law.

An NBI official revealed 15 people, including three women, would be charged for violating the Anti-Hazing Law.

The official said they were able to identify the fratmen who fetched the victims at the fast food outlet and brought them to the house in Makati where the hazing took place.

The NBI yesterday identified another suspect in the case, bringing to eight the total number of known suspects.

The official identified the suspect as Hans Tatlonghari alias Hans Tamaring, who was among the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity members seen inside the elevator and who helped drag Servando inside a condo unit on June 28.

De Lima, on the other hand, the NBI was just waiting for the affidavit of the fourth victim of the hazing incident as Raval and Agustin have already signed their respective sworn statements.

De Lima added she would also issue an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (LBO) against all the individuals involved in Servando’s hazing once the list of all those present during the rites is submitted by the NBI.

Among the Tau Gamma Phi members tagged by Raval and Agustin in the hazing death of Servando are Tau Gamma Phi chapter head Cody Morales, alleged master initiator Emerson Calupas, fraternity secretary Daniel Paul Cruz Bautista alias Pope Bautista and members Trex Pablico alias Trex Garcia, Kurt Almazan, Carl Francis Loresca and Kevin Navoa.

Navoa, according to Immigration authorities, has already left the country.

“Based on our travel records, we would just confirm that yes, there was this one person who is out of the country,” Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison said, referring to Navoa.

Mison, however, declined to reveal when or where Navoa fled, saying he will have to secure clearance first.

“I am not sure if we are at liberty to disclose the actual date of departure,” he said.

Unconfirmed reports said Navoa left last July 1, or three days after the hazing, for the United States.

Mison, however, said they were able to record Navoa’s departure since he used proper travel documents and passed through the Immigration counter.

Mison explained Navoa was allowed to leave the country in the absence of any court restraining order.– Evelyn Macairan, Aie Balagtas See, Danny Dangcalan

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