7 face raps over Cebu student’s hazing death

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Seven individuals, including a professor, are facing a complaint for homicide and violation of the Anti-Hazing Act in connection with the death of University of Cebu student Ronnel Baguio in December 2022.

Citing Central Visayas Public Attorney’s Office, a report by GMA News said the complaint has already been filed, noting that police have strong evidence against the suspects.

Baguio’s family said he had been lured by one of his professors to join the fraternity and was subjected to initiation rites on Dec. 10 last year.

Weeks later, while enduring pain believed to be from hazing rites, Baguio died.

His death certificate stated that his death was due to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to indirect lung injury and acute kidney injury secondary to rhabdomyolysis.

His mother appeared at the PAO office in Manila earlier this month to appeal to authorities to expedite the investigation of her son’s death.

PAO chief Persida Acosta earlier said members of Tau Gamma Phi, the same fraternity tagged in the death of Adamson University student Matthew Salilig, were allegedly responsible for the death of Baguio, a 20-year-old marine engineering student from Bataan attending school in Cebu.

The PAO and the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas subsequently launched a joint investigation into the incident on orders from Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.

Hazing, which is widely practiced in fraternities and sororities in the country, has been a persistent issue in the country’s educational institutions.

In 2018, the Anti-Hazing Act was signed into law to address the problem and provide stronger measures against hazing-related violence.

However, hazing incidents continue, resulting in the loss of lives and trauma to those who undergo initiation rites.

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