DOJ starts prelim probe on Servando hazing case

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 31 2014 03:41 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2014 11:41 PM

MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted its first hearing on the preliminary investigation into the Guillo Servando hazing case on Thursday.

Servando's father, Aurelio, the private complainant in the case, appeared in the hearing.

Also present were respondents Tau Gamma Phi members Kurt Michael Almazan and Luis Solomon Arevalo, and the caretaker of the Makati City residence where the hazing took place, Jemar Pajarito.

Almazan, Arevalo, and Pajarito have cooperated with public complainant National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and are hoping that the charges against them, for violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 8049 (Anti-Hazing Law) be dismissed.

Another respondent, Steven Jorge Penano, was also in attendance, and filed his counter-affidavit.

Penano urged the panel of prosecutors, composed of Asst. State Prosecutors Stewart Allan Mariano, Arnold Magpantay and Alejandro Daguiso, to junk the charges against him, claiming that he was not present during the June 28 initiation rites that led to Servando's death.

"I did not have any participation in, and also I do not have any knowledge of, the events and circumstances that may have led to the death of … Servando, including the events charged in the complaint and narrated in the [NBI] referral," Penano's counter-affidavit read.

Arevalo and Pajarito manifested to file supplemental affidavits during the next hearing, on Aug. 7, which led counsels for the other respondents to seek an extension of time to file their counter-affidavits.

The counself of the other respondents further justified their motion by citing the pendency of the NBI's forensic examination report on Servando's two cellular phones as evidence; the NBI, however, withdrew the forensic report as evidence in open hearing.

The panel gave them up to Aug. 14 to file their counter-affidavits.

The following is the complete list of respondents:

'B7 'B7Cody Errol Morales
'B7 Daniel Paul Martin Bautista alias "Pope"
'B7 Kurt Michael Almazan
'B7 Luis Solomon Arevalo alias "Louie"
'B7 Carl Francis Loresca
'B7 Esmerson Nathaniel Calupas alias "Emeng"
'B7 Hans Killian Tatlonghari alias "Hans Tamaring"
'B7 Jomar Pajarito
'B7 Eleazar Pablico III alias "Trex"
'B7 John Kevin Navoa
'B7 Vic Angelo Dy
'B7 Mark Ramos
'B7 Mike Castañeda
'B7 Justin Francis Reyes alias "Rey Jay"
'B7 Steve Jorge Peñano
'B7 Ma. Teresa Dayanghirang
'B7 Alyssa Federique Valbuena
'B7 alias "Kiko"
'B7 alias "Bea"
'B7 one Jane Doe

During the hearing, only respondents Arevalo, Almazan, Pajarito, Penano, Dayanghirang, and Valbuena were represented by counsel.

Aurelio Servando told ABS-CBN News he was saddened that the hearing suffered delays due to the respondents' plea to be given more time to file their counter-affidavits. He said he remained hopeful justice will be served on the respondents.

"I'm saddened na may delays pero umiikot naman ang wheels of justice. Napatawad ko na sila, pero iba naman kasi ang kapatawaran sa hustisya," Mr. Servando said.

Three of Servendo's co-neophytes: John Paul Raval, Lorenze Agustin and a minor, also reaffirmed the sworn statements they executed before the NBI during the agency's investigation.