MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Rene Saguisag lamented the demise of Marc Andrei Marcos, saying the San Beda law student was "my kind of people."
Speaking on ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda, Saguisag said he gave a quiz to his class, which included Marcos, just a day before he was allegedly subjected to deadly beatings by a fraternity, and he liked the boy's answers.
One question that was asked of the students was what they thought of defending a war criminal like Laszlo Csatary, a 97-year-old man suspected of deporting Jews to Auschwitz during World War 2.
Saguisag said Andrei's answer showed he was open to defending Csatary.
"Sayang yung bata, sayang yung future. Definitely, may future. I liked his answers, yung willingness of being open to representing a detested individual, dahil talagang ganun e....I like someone who is open dahil dinidiin namin yang human rights," Saguisag, himself a human rights lawyer, said. "When you laugh, the whole world laughs with you, but you weep alone. Yan ang my kind of people."
"Pag ikaw nawalan ng asawa like in my case, nawalan ng magulang, masakit pero accepting ka. Pero you bury your child, yung bata, unnatural e. Lahat kami nagdadalamhati. We have taken steps to again try to prevent a repetition but we recognize the right to associate," he added.
Saguisag lost his wife, Dulce, in November 2007 after a truck hit their car along Osmeña Highway in Makati.
Saguisag said San Beda has organized a team that will investigate what seems to be another hazing incident involving the school's students.
Saguisag said one reason why young law students join fraternities is because of the need to find a barkada.
“In the Mendiola campus, we have about 1,500 students. In Alabang, there’s 500-600. Kung bagong salta ka, siyempre naghahanap ka ng komportableng makakasama…Talagang naghahanap ka ng barkada e,” he said.
He also said joining a fraternity has its advantages especially when you start a law practice. He admitted that some cases are won because lawyers and judges are frat brothers.
Marcos' aunt, Jane Quindo, also decried the tragic death, saying Andrei was a good boy, "hindi gumi-gimmick, sayang talaga, nawala siya ng maaga."
She revealed that Marcos' mother died when he was just 5 years old.
Quindo said she could not believe that another hazing death would occur in San Beda just 5 months after the death of law student Marvin Reglos allegedly at the hands of Lambda Rho Beta fratmen.
“Hindi naman namin naisip na pagkatapos nung nangyari kay Marvin, masusundan ito. Ang akala namin, yung nangyari kay Marvin siguro matututo na yung mga fraternity na hindi na dapat maulit yung nangyari,” she said.
Neophytes offer money
Meantime, the victim's cousin said Wednesday that some of Andrei's friends who met with the family the day he died offered money for hospitalization and other expenses. He said the family felt insulted by the offer.
Lawyer Jose Vener Ibarra said Marcos went missing last Saturday and could no longer be contacted after telling his aunt that he was working on a school project. The aunt then asked for Marcos’ phone records from a local telco since the number was listed under her name.
One person who was listed in Marcos’ phone records agreed to meet after being contacted by the family. Ibarra said two young men met with his relatives last Monday at a fastfood chain.
He said the two men looked like neophytes who also seemed to have undergone hazing. He said the two would not identify themselves but only offered to shoulder Marcos’ hospitalization and even offered money.
“Tingin po nila ay baka mga neophytes din dahil mga paika-ika din nung nagkipagkita sa kanila. Imbes na sabihjin kung nasaan si Andrei, alam mo naman yung mga briefing ng ganitong mga tao, nakakagalit nga they said he is in a hospital and he is going to be fine at nag-offer po sila na sila ang gagastos ng pagamot at tinanong din nila ang pamilya namin kung kinakailangan namin ng pera. Nakakainsulto po, di ba?” he told radio dzMM.
Ibarra said the only useful information given by the 2 men was Marcos’ whereabouts: that he was confined at the De La Salle University hospital in Dasmariñas, Cavite. The 2, however, would not accompany the family to the hospital.
A doctor said Marcos was already dead on arrival after being brought to the hospital at 8:56 pm Sunday night. He was revived by doctors but died at 3:30 pm the following day before the family could reach the hospital.
“If we had known that he was there since Sunday, we could have gone to him,” Ibarra said.
Family has photos of neophytes
A medical report said Marcos had bruises all over his arms and legs, which are sure signs of hazing.
Doctors said 3 men and a woman brought Marcos to the hospital, and then abandoned him. The woman was questioned by the police but has since gone missing.
Ibarra said the family was able to take pictures of the 2 men who met with his relatives.
“Nakunan namin ng litrato and the family is deciding today that if this is not solved and if they do not come forward to give information to the police, we will share the pictures with everyone. Para sila ang magpaliwanag kung ano ang partisipasyon nila,” he said.
He said no one from the fraternity has approached the family since Marcos’ death.
He said those who owned the farm in Cavite where the alleged hazing took place could face criminal charges.
The lawyer said he does not know which fraternity was involved in Marcos’ hazing death. Police earlier said they are investigating the Lex Leonum, Lex Taliones and Lambda Rho Beta fraternities for the hazing death.
Ibarra, who studied in the Ateneo de Manila University College of Law, said he is saddened that people have learned nothing about the hazing death of Leonardo "Lenny" Villa at the hands of the Aquila Legis fratmen.
Ironically, he said Andrei was born on the same year that Villa was killed during hazing rites.