MANILA -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) found probable cause to indict 14 members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity for the hazing of De La Salle - College of St. Benilde student Guillio Cesar Servando last June 28.
In a resolution, dated Nov. 5, signed by Assistant State Prosecutors Stewart Allan Mariano, Arnold Magpantay, and Alejandro Daguiso, the DOJ found sufficient evidence to charge the following in court for violations of Republic Act (RA) No. 8049, also known as the Anti-Hazing Law:
Cody Errol Morales aka "Cody Morales''
Daniel Paul Martin Bautista aka "Pope Bautista''
Kurt Michael Almazan aka "Kurt''
Esmerson Nathaniel Calupas aka "Emeng''
Hans Killian Tatlonghari aka "Hans Tamaring''
Eleazar Pablico III aka "Trex Garcia"
John Kevin Navoa
Vic Angelo Dy
Mark Andrew Ramos
Michael David Castaneda
Justin Francis Reyes aka "Jay Ray" and aka "Ray Jay"
"After a judicious evaluation of the pieces of evidence submitted by the parties in the case at bar, the panel of prosecutors finds that there exists probable cause to indict [above-stated] respondents... for violation of Republic Act No. 8049 and that they should be held criminally liable and held for trial therfor. A perspicacious evaluation of the facts of the case reveals that the above-mentioned members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity, College of St. Benilde Chapter were present during the final initiation rites of victims Servando, Raval, Agustin and Flores on June 28, 2014 held at No. 4454 Calatagan Corner Hilario Streets, Palanan, Makati City," the resolution read.
The DOJ gave weight to the "vivid recollection" and "positive identification" of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity members by neophytes Raval, Agustin, and Flores, who survived the hazing.
"It must be stressed that these neophytes were not even blindfolded at the time of the initiation rites," the resolution read.
The DOJ also said the other pieces of evidence such as the Closed- Circuit TV (CCTV) footage recorded at One Archer's Place, which showed Servando's last moments alive, as well as photographs attached to the complaint, "have more than morally convinced the... panel of prosecutors" to indict the above-mentioned respondents.
Meantime, the charges were dismissed against 6 respondents, namely Luis Solomon Arevalo, Carl Francis Loresca, Steven Jorge Penano aka "Penny," Ma. Teresa Dayanghirang, and Alyssa Federique Valbuena, for insufficient evidence.
Regarding Pajarito, the DOJ said his claims that he did not know about the planned initiation rites was not contradicted by any of the respondents.
Loresca and Penano were absolved because while they were "momentarily" seen at the initiation site, they did not inflict any physical harm on the victims.
The same goes for Arevalo, the DOJ said.
And while Dayanghirang and Valbuena admitted to being present during the rites, the DOJ said they, too, did not participate in the hazing.
Under the Anti-Hazing Law, "mere presence of any person during the hazing is prima facie evidence of participation therein as principal unless he prevented the commission of the acts punishable," but the DOJ said Dayanghirang and Valbuena should not be indicted because "the context of such presumption must... be inevitably correlated with Section 4 of [the Anti-Hazing Law] which clearly indicated that "[i]f the person subjected to hazing or other forms of initiation rites suffers any physical injury or dies as a result thereof, the officers and members of the fraternity, sorority or organization who actually participated in the infliction of the physical harm shall be liable as principals."
The resolution was approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon and Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.