BI: 4 Tau Gamma suspects have fled Phl
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - July 12, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Four suspects linked to the death of alleged hazing victim Guillo Cesar Servando have fled the country.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) spokesman Elaine Tan said the four, all members of Tau Gamma Phi fraternity’s De La  Salle Univerity chapter, left before an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) was issued against them.

“As of July 11, 2014, bureau records show that Emerson Nathaniel Calupas, Hans Tatlonghari, Eleazar Pablico III and John Kevin Navoa are out of the country,” she said.

Tan said an ILBO does not give the BI authority to stop a person from leaving the country.

“An ILBO issued against a person does not necessarily mean that they cannot leave the country, it only directs our immigration officers to coordinate with DOJ and NBI if there is an attempt to depart,” she said.

“The decision of our immigration officer whether to allow or deny departure will be based on the advice of DOJ and NBI.”

Last July 9, the BI implemented the ILBO directing all immigration officers to closely coordinate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) any attempt by the suspects to leave the country.

Other suspects whose immigration records are still being verified are Cody Errol Morales, Daniel Paul Martin “Pope” Bautista, Kurt Michael Almazan, Luis Solomon “Louie” Arevalo, Carl Francis Loresca, Jemar Pajarito, Vic Angelo Dy, Mark Ramos, Mike Castañeda, Tessa Dayanghirang, Yssa Valbuena, an alias Rey Jay and an alias Kiko.

Charged

The 20 people implicated in the death of Servando were charged with violating Republic Act 8049, the Anti-Hazing Law before the DOJ yesterday.

Under RA 8049, people convicted of the death of a neophyte who had undergone hazing would be imposed the penalty of life imprisonment.

Servando’s father Aurelio told reporters he became optimistic after he learned that the DOJ considers his son’s death “a special case.”

“I get some sort of relief now that it’s filed already,” he said.

“At least we can have a little rest until the result of the (preliminary investigation) of the fiscal comes out.

“I hope they can form special panel to study this case and come out with a resolution as fast as possible.” 

Servando’s parents will bring his ashes back to their hometown in Iloilo.

After filing the case yesterday, Aurelio said he and his wife will discuss their plan to take his “favorite” son home.

The Servando family has mausoleums in two different cemeteries in Iloilo.

Servando was 11 when his family moved to Manila.

The other respondents are Steven Jorge Peñano, Justin Francis Reyes and an alias Bea.

Morales and Bautista are officers of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity De La Salle chapter who acted as “medics” and tried to revive Servando after the initiation rites.

Pajarito is the caretaker of the house in Barangay Palanan in Makati City where the initiation rites took place.

Most of the male respondents are members of the fraternity, while some of the female respondents are reportedly their girlfriends who also witnessed the alleged hazing.

Respondent Valbuena was present at the house where Servando and three others were paddled.

Her father went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) hours before the case was filed yesterday.

Speaking to reporters, Eric Valbuena, a former Manila councilor, said his daughter is innocent of the charges against her.

“She was only there because her best friend asked her to come over,” he said.

“She didn’t know that a hazing was taking place. All she knew was that it was a fraternity event.”

Yssa’s best friend, whom he identified as Dayanghari, is the alleged girlfriend of Tau Gamma Phi member Almazan.

Both girls are also from De La Salle University-College of Saint Benilde.

Valbuena told the NBI that his daughter must not be included in the charges.

However, the NBI said the younger Valbuena will remain a principal respondent.

The NBI said it is based on Section 4 of RA 8049: “The presence of any person during the hazing is prima facie evidence of participation there as principal unless he prevented the commission of the acts punishable herein.”

Investigators submitted to the DOJ as evidence are the testimonies of Servando’s three fellow neophytes who survived the hazing, as well as statements of two fraternity members who had cooperated with authorities and were placed under provisional coverage of the witness protection program. Their names were withheld for security reasons.

Some of the witnesses detailed to investigators the fraternity’s initiation rites.

They recalled doing several tasks for a week before the final initiation, including pushing a car, various errands and being repeatedly slapped on the face while fraternity members were dining and drinking.

They said they were brought to the house on Calatagan St., Barangay Palanan in Makati City last June 28 where they were beaten up by at least 16 members of the fraternity.

During the alleged hazing, neophytes remaining standing after the beating were given six more “as a reward,” they added.

One fraternity member said he placed chili in Servando’s mouth during the alleged hazing and made him bite it so “his blood will circulate normally.”

He also made him sniff ammonia to revive him every time he would pass out, he added.

In their affidavits, the witnesses said fraternity members present at the initiation rites ordered the three surviving neophytes to lie about the cause of Servando’s death.

Anti-hazing law

Bacolod City Rep. Evelio Leonardia has filed a bill in the House of Representatives seeking to amend RA 8049, to require fraternities and sororities to notify school authorities of the schedule of any hazing.

Leonardia wants Section 2 to read: “No hazing or initiation rites in any form or manner by a fraternity, sorority or organization shall be allowed without prior written notice to the school authorities or head of organization seven days before the conduct of such initiation. The written notice shall indicate the specific place with complete address where the initiation rites shall be conducted; the period of the initiation activities which shall not exceed three days, shall include the names of those to be subjected to such activities, the names of the incumbent officers of the fraternity, sorority or organization and any person or persons that will take charge in the conduct of the initiation activities, and shall further contain an undertaking that no physical or psychological violence be employed by anybody during such initiation rites.

“Provided that the written notice shall be under oath with a declaration that it has been posted in the official school bulletin board, the bulletin board of the office of the fraternity, sorority, or organization, and two other conspicuous places in the school or in the premises of the organization and shall be posted from the time of the submission of the written notice to the school authorities or head of organization and shall only be removed from its posting three days after the conduct of the initiation rites.

“Provided further that the school, organization, fraternity or sorority shall provide for their respective bulletin boards for the purpose of this section.”

Section 2-A in the bill reads: “It shall be unlawful for any person to intimidate, threaten, force or to employ or administer any form of vexation against another person for the purpose of recruitment in joining or promoting a particular fraternity, sorority, or organization. The persistent and repeated proposal or invitation made to a person who had twice refused to participate or join the proposed fraternity, sorority or organization shall be a prima facie vexation for purposes of this section. 

“Provided further that violation of this section shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum period (6 months and 1 day to 2 years and 4 months).”

Section 4 of RA 8049 shall be amended to read: “The penalty of prision correccional in its medium period (2 years 4 months and 1 day to 4 years and 2 months) if as a consequence of the hazing the victim sustained psychological injuries or would require psychological therapy or treatment even if the victim continues to engage in his habitual activity.”

Arrogant

Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has called on fraternities employing violence in their recruitment efforts to stop being arrogant.

In his homily last July 6 at the Saint Maria Goretti Parish Church at Pope Pius XII Center in Paco, Manila, Tagle said: “Don’t be arrogant,” alluding to the initiation rites of some fraternities involving inflicting physical pain on neophytes.

Tagle said a fraternity using violence in recruitment is a “fraternity of arrogance.”

“Fraternity? What kind of brotherhood is that? Will you call, consider as brother one who treats you like a punching bag?” he said in Filipino. “How dare you call brother him who beats you up?” – With Edu Punay, Aie Balagtas See, Danny Dangcalan

 

BARANGAY PALANAN FRATERNITY HAZING INITIATION MAKATI CITY ORGANIZATION RITES SERVANDO SHALL TAU GAMMA PHI
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