BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The three suspects who recruited a Grade 10 student in San Enrique, Negros Occidental to join a fraternity, strongly denied allegations that they were behind his death as a result of initiation rites, town police deputy chief PLt. Sammy Gasataya said yesterday.
His parents, however, told the San Enrique Police Station that the 18-year-old victim, whose identity is being withheld, died on Sept.9 because of hazing.
Gasataya said that they were able to recover a wooden paddle from the house of one of three suspects that is alleged to have been used during the initiation rites.
Based on the post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Fritzi Juanillo, the victim, a student of the Doña Hortencia Salas Benedicto National High School in La Carlota City, succumbed to hematoma in both of his buttocks.
Gasataya said the alleged hazing incident was only reported to the San Enrique Police Station on Sept. 11, two days after the victim died.
Police investigations showed that the victim was recruited by the three suspects, who are 20 and 24 years old, and the other one of legal age, to join their group on March 23. However the initiation rites were held in abeyance because the victim was still 17 years old.
On Sept. 3, the three suspects invited again the victim, who was celebrating his 18th birthday at his residence in Brgy. Guintorilan, San Enrique, to join their group, the police said.
After a drinking spree, the victim, who had been blindfolded, was brought to a place where the initiation rites were held, Gasataya said.
The parents of the victim told the police, Gasataya also said, that the three suspects, whose identities are temporarily withheld by the police pending further investigations, were allegedly behind the hazing held on Sept. 4, based on the testimonies of their son.
Five days later, the victim died.
Gasataya said that they are now gathering more evidences and testimonies, in preparation for the filing of charges against the suspects for violation of RA 11053, or anti-hazing law, in coordination with the family of the victim.*