Cebu News

7 face charges over hazing death of maritime student

Romeo D. Marantal - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The case of Ronnel Baguio, the second year marine engineering student in one of the universities in Cebu City who died from fraternity hazing conducted by Tau Gamma Phi, has been solved.

This as the police have filed a case for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law and homicide against seven suspects, including Grand Triskelion, Deputy Grand Triskelion, Master Initiator, a resident member and a recruiter before the City Prosecutor's Office yesterday morning.

Among the seven indicted are a teacher who allegedly recruited Baguio, as well as the owner of the place where the initiation rites were held.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Ma. Theresa Macatangay, spokesperson of the Cebu City Police Office, said yesterday that a case has been filed against seven suspects who will soon be issued an order to answer the case filed against them.

When the prosecutor receives their answers, the same will determine probable cause before filing the case in court.

Macatangay is confident that the cases and pieces of evidence they prepared against the suspects are strong.

"Hopefully ma-issuehan sila labing dali nga panahon og warrants of arrest so that atoa pud nga madakpan ni kaning gi-identify nato nga suspetsado," said Macatangay.

Macatangay said that it is possible that they will request the prosecution to file a hold departure order against the suspects.

But she said that they trust the statement of the four suspects who first surrendered to the CCPO who have already executed an extra-judicial confessions, who said that their voluntary stay showed that they are ready to face the cases.

"We believe nga matinud-anon sa ilahang ganahan nga mahitabo ug sa ilahang gi-commit sa amoa," said Macatangay.

Atty. Maria G-ree Calinawan, Regional Director of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO)-7, explained that they will not reveal the names of those who have been charged in order not to disrupt the investigation of the City Prosecutor's Office.

Calinawan said it is clear that the role of the PAO is to assist the complainant who is the mother of the victim, Leny Baguio, who first turned to Atty. Persida Acosta, head of the PAO in Manila.

Calinawan also made it clear that if the accused cannot get a lawyer and ask for their assistance, they will not accept it because it is a conflict of interest.

"Definitely it would be a case of conflict of interest because we have already assisted the complainant and we already know so much about the case which we could not divulge so kung the accused will get the services of the PAO magkakaroon sila ng conflict of interest," said Calinawan.

Leny Baguio, Ronnel's mother, thanked everyone who helped her bring justice for her son's death.

Leny stated that she will do everything just to give justice to her son.

"Naihingi ko na po sila ng tawad sa panginoon pero hindi ibig sabihin nun ay hindi po sila mananagot sa batas kung ano po yung batas bilang po nakasaad sa hazing law yun po ang dapat nilang harapin," said Leny.

She also called on parents to really check their children's activities outside the home and urged the youth not to join fraternities. – JMD (FREEMAN)


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