MANILA - The father of Guillo Cesar Servando, a victim of fatal hazing in 2014, offered solace Sunday to the family of University of Santo Tomas (UST) student Horacio Castillo III, who was killed allegedly during fraternity initiation rites.
"There are no tips that I can give to help you overcome your loss because we even feel our loss 3 years after," Servando's father, Aurelio, said in an interview with radio DZMM.
"But maybe they can divert their attention toward helping others and maybe realize that the world is still a beautiful place and that eventually, we will see our sons again."
Castillo, a 22-year-old law freshman, succumbed to massive injuries allegedly at the hands of Aegis Jvris fratmen last week.
Like him, the 18-year-old Servando of the College of St. Benilde died after Tau Gamma hazing rites in June 2014.
Servando joined the fraternity because he "wanted to be able to convince them to stop hazing once he became a full-fledged member," his father said.
The elder Servando said he sees similarities between his son and Castillo.
"Naiiyak ako dahil may similarity sila ng anak ko. They were both very kind-looking and from what I heard sa mga kapatid, very loving. Chubby rin siya, katulad ng anak ko," he said, his voice cracking.
In 2016, a court junked the criminal case against the fratmen tagged in Servando's death due to a technicality where complainants failed to state that he allegedly died due to hazing.
The Servando family has filed an appeal against the ruling. The case is now pending before the Court of Appeals.
Amid their continued quest for justice, Servando's father said he has forgiven some of the accused, who personally reached out to their family.
"I have forgiven some of them because as a Christian, iyan naman ang tinatawag sa atin ng Panginoon na matuto tayong magpatawad kung lumalapit at humihingi ng tawad lalo na lang iyung mga magulang na kulang na lang, lumuhod, magmakaawa sa harap ko," he said.
All fratmen linked to Servando's killing have been expelled from Benilde and barred from transferring to other schools. Some of them however have yet to speak to the Servando family.
"Kagabi nga, may nag-text sa akin, nagpa-party raw sa Mandaluyong. They are back to the good life," said the elder Servando.
CHANGING THE CULTURE OF VIOLENCE
Servando's father has lobbied for a bill seeking a total ban on hazing rites.
The current Anti-Hazing Law passed in 1995 only regulates the initiation rites of fraternities.
Senate Bill 199, which Servando supports, seeks to ban hazing and put more responsibility on the schools who are supposed to accredit organizations.
The elder Servando is also pushing for a conference of all fraternity and sorority founders and leaders, where they could call on their members to stop all forms of hazing.
He said he is willing to attend a Senate investigation into Castillo's death, which starts Monday.