Two members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity denied their involvement in the conduct of the initiation rites that eventually led to the death of hazing victim Guillo Cesar Servando on June 28.
In a preliminary investigation hearing, fratmen Carl Francis Loresca and Steven Jorge Peñano even brought two witnesses who can prove that they did not take part in the hazing in a frat house in Makati City more than a month ago.
Tessa Dayanghirang, reportedly a girlfriend of one of the fraternity members and respondents, also submitted a counter-affidavit that denied participation in the initiation rites, which took the life of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde student.
Other respondents in the hazing charges failed to submit their answers on Thursday – the deadline set by the investigating prosecutors – despite being given two chances. They were initially summoned to the first hearing last August 7 to submit their counter-affidavits.
Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Allan Mariano, chair of the DOJ panel, said their right to answer the charges has been waived due to their repeated absence at the hearings.
Mariano said the final hearing will be on August 20 when the complainant, Servando’s father Aurelio, would file a reply before the complaint is submitted for resolution.
The 20 respondents led by Cody Errol Morales, reported head of Tau Gamma Phi-De La Salle chapter, were charged with violating Section 4 Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law, which provides life imprisonment for the crime of death by hazing.
The other respondents are:
Daniel Paul Bautista,
Kurt Michael Almazan,
John Paul Arevalo,
Hans Killian Tatlonghari,
Eleazar Pablico III,
John Kevin Navoa,
Vic Angelo Dy,
Mark Andrew Ramos,
Justin Francis Reyes,
an alias Kiko,
an alias Bea and
an unidentified suspect.
The Bureau of Immigration said Navoa, Calupas, Tatlonghari, and Pablico have already left the country while Almazan, Solomon, Pajarito, Peñano, and Arevalo attended the hearings last July 31 and August 7.
Almazan and Solomon are members of the fraternity while Pajarito is the caretaker of the house where the rites took place.
They had earlier cooperated with the NBI and detailed their participation in the incident.
Peñano, for his part, denied the charges in the first hearing. (RR Rivera)