Jun 122013
(Updated 2:53 p.m.) A Cavite trial court has ordered the arrest of 10 members of San Beda-based Lex Leonum fraternity over the hazing rites that led to the death of first year law student Marc Andre Marcos on July 30 last year.

In an order by Executive Judge Perla Cabrera-Faller, the Cavite Regional Trial Court Branch 90 ordered the arrest of the following for alleged violation of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law:

  • Jenno Antonio Villanueva
  • Emmanuel Jefferson Santiago
  • Richard Rosales
  • Mohamad Fyzee Alim
  • Chino Daniel Amante
  • Julius Alcancia
  • Edrich Gomez
  • Dexter Circa
  • Gian Angelo Veluz
  • Glenn Meduen

“Finding probable cause to sustain the prosecution of the above-mentioned accused for the crime charged in the criminal information, let a warrant for their arrest be issued,” said Judge Faller in her order dated June 3.

“[I]n the meantime send the entire records of this case to the archives until the said accused shall have been arrested,” she added.

In October last year, the San Beda College of Law, through its Committee on Student Conduct, approved the penalty of exclusion against 27 of its students found to be members of the Lex Leonum fraternity.

The committee also suspended eight other Bedans who “have shown remorse” after violating the College’s students’ code of conduct.

The committee came out with the list dated October 23, in relation to an administrative investigation on the violation of the college’s students’ code of conduct.

Marcos died from extensive traumatic injuries in his upper and lower extremities as a result of alleged initiation rites of the Lex Leonum Fraternity at a farm in Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Veluz’s family owns the farm, where police said the initation rites took place.

Hazing rites

Police earlier said that based on their investigation, Marcos underwent hazing along with eight other neophytes. The police also said they have tagged as many as 34 suspects in the case.

In a sworn statement, Cornelio Marcelo, a member of the fraternity who was present at the initiation, revealed that Marcos underwent four stages of hazing, starting with a “welcome” in which he received 20 blows from a paddle-like wooden bat on his thighs. 

Marcos then received no less than 59 more blows on his shoulders and thighs in the second stage of the initiation, where wrong answers to questions merited a wallop.

According to Marcelo, Marcos fell during the third stage, almost landing face-first on the ground. He then went on to endure a fourth round where he received more blows from several directions.  

Marcelo said that he acted as one of the “angels” of the neophytes. He said he asked his companions to stop hitting Marcos but that his companions continued nonetheless. 

Marcos collapsed when the initiation was almost over. 

Aside from Marcelo, two other neophytes also surfaced in August 2012 and voluntarily gave information, but couldn’t reveal more as they said they were blindfolded during the rites and were not aware of what was happening to Marcos.

The police noted the two neophytes also had bruises from the navel-on-down that were ‘kulay talong.’ 

The San Beda School of Law administration and the Law Student Government had earlier condemned the hazing incident, saying fraternities and sororities are not recognized by the administration.

Reglos case

Marcos’ death came some five months after a separate San Beda fraternity hazing-related death, that of 25-year-old law freshman Marvin Reglos, a neophyte of Lambda Rho Beta.

Reglos was said to have been taken to a resort in Manila’s neighboring Antipolo City in Rizal province on Feb. 18, 2012 as part of the initiation rights before being accepted in the San Beda-based fraternity.

In the wee hours of February 19, a security guard manning the entrance saw a group of men emerge from the resort, including a limping Reglos. Reglos would later die in a hospital. 

Grand Rhoan Eduardo Escobal initially surfaced and volunteered to cooperate in the investigation, but was later tagged as a suspect in the crime. This, after investigators discovered that the car that was used to bring Reglos to the hospital belonged to Escobal.

Apart from Escobal, 12 other members of the Lambda Rho Beta are already facing charges of murder and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law. — RSJ/KBK, GMA News

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