MANILA, Philippines – The body of an alleged hazing victim was found stuffed inside a steel drum floating on Manila Bay on Wednesday, police said.
The victim, 15-year-old Noel Borja Jr., was identified by his father.
Police said the victim’s body was placed inside a sack stuffed inside a steel drum that was filled with cement.
Two scavengers saw the steel drum floating near the Parola Compound in Tondo.
“Akala po namin sibak. Tiningnan po namin, tinali na namin. Sa may barko, nakalutang. Dinala namin dito,” one of the scavengers said.
They saw the corpse when they opened the drum.
Borja’s relatives said they last saw him on Sunday before he left for a “baptism” ceremony under the Tau Gamma Phi, or Triskelion, fraternity.
“Siya na po mismo nagsabi sa akin na-baptize na siya ng Tres eh, tau gamma din. Royal blood siya ng Akrho. May nag-rekrut sa kanya. Nagtiwala sa kanila,” said the victim’s aunt, Jennifer Borja.
“Fraternity is Triskelion. Kagabi pa hinahanap ito ng tropa ko. Hindi lang makita. Ngayon lang 11 [a.m.] nakita dito sa Pasig River, dito sa Parola Gate 54,” said Superintendent Ernesto Tendero, chief of the Manila Police District Station 11.
The victim’s father, Daniel Borja Jr., said he did not expect that his son, who was still a Grade 6 student, would join a fraternity. “Iyon ang ikinagulat ko sir, eh. ‘Di sumagi sa isip ko yan eh.”
One suspect has been arrested in connection with the case.
Ferdinand Palacio is now in the hands of MPD authorities.
Palacio admitted that Borja was not able to handle the hazing and died Sunday night.
A friend of the victim, who was also him that night, said Borja passed out after the hazing. "Nahihilo siya at nagsuka siya. Hindi na niya nakayanan," the witness said.
He said he saw the fraternity members turn Borja upside down, pumping his chest to try to revive him.
Another suspect, James Carl, is still at large.
Police are still continuing their investigation into the case. – with reports from Maan Macapagal and Gretchen Malalad, ABS-CBN News