‘No place for frats, hazing in USLS’

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

THE University of St. La Salle (USLS) in Bacolod City has condemned what it described as the brutal and criminal act of hazing that caused the death of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) student Guillo Cesar Servando.

In a press statement issued Wednesday, the USLS administration said it stands in solidarity with De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde and the rest of the Lasallian family in the Philippines in grief and in their quest for justice for Servando.

The young Servando’s uncle, Bro. Antonio Cesar Servando, is the vice chancellor for administration of USLS.


“We condemn fraternities and similar groups who continue to perpetuate such barbaric rites of inflicting physical and psychological violence and injury in order for them to become so-called “brothers,” the school administration said.

The USLS statement added: “We reiterate our commitment to peace and non-violence. We remind our students that there is no place for fraternities, hazing and similar acts in all campuses and activities of the USLS.”

The Bacolod-based university also called on all fraternity members who exercise leadership in their organizations “to put an end to this dishonorable and barbaric tradition.”

“We pray for your enlightenment and we invite you to embrace and cultivate an organizational culture founded on authentic love, real concern for others and respect for human life and dignity,” the statement said.

The school administration said they add their “voice to those who call upon Congress to review the anti-hazing law and amend it to make it more effective and enforceable.”

“We call on all government and law enforcement authorities to exercise the full extent of the law in making accountable those responsible for these villainous and despicable acts. Let justice prevail, not only for Guillo, but for those who lost their lives in the past due to violent and inhuman activities done in the name of ‘brotherhood’” the USLS statement added.

Meanwhile, the City Council of Bacolod passed a resolution Wednesday expressing its deepest sympathies and condolences to the bereaved Servando family.

Councilors Caesar Distrito, Em Ang, Carlos Jose Lopez and Roberto Rojas authored the resolution.

Servando, a sophomore Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management student, is the son of human rights advocate and businessman Aurelio Cesar Jalbuena Servando and Christine Uytiepo Servando, who are both from Bacolod.

The entire constituency of Bacolod City expresses its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and prays for the repose of the soul of the young Servando, the SP resolution said.

State witness

In Manila, a member of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity has been granted provisional coverage under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in exchange for information on the hazing incident last month that killed Servando and injured three others.

The unidentified fratman surrendered to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Tuesday night.

De Lima said the Tau Gamma member denied he was one of those who mauled Servando to death on June 28.

She added that another member is willing to shed light on the incident to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

"Alamin nila (NBI) who exactly is this and alamin ano ang kanyang naging role sa initiation (rites) bago nila kausapin. And kahit nga hindi siya maging state witness, kung willing naman talagang magbigay ng statement then the NBI can consider him," de Lima said.

The justice chief also said that a lookout bulletin order (LBO) will be issued against all persons allegedly involved in the incident once she gets a complete list of names from the NBI.

A person under the LBO is not barred from leaving the country but his travel details will have to be reported to concerned authorities.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration confirmed that John Kevin Navoa, one of the suspects in Servando's death, is already outside the Philippines.

"He was cleared for departure as there is no legal basis to prevent his travel," said Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison.

Further details of Navoa's travel are still being verified by the BI along with the records of the other reported suspects.

Servando's death renewed calls to give more teeth to the anti-hazing law as nobody has been punished since it was passed by Congress in 1995. (NLG/CNC with reports from Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 10, 2014.

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