NBI to probe death of Benilde student

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Monday, June 30, 2014

MANILA -- Justice Secretary Leila de Lima directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday to probe the death of a De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde (CSB) student and injury of three others due to fraternity hazing.

De Lima said she told NBI Director Virgilio Mendez to coordinate with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

CSB sophomore student Guillo Cesar Servando died over the weekend in an upscale condominium unit near his school in Manila due to injuries sustained from hazing conducted by the Tau Gamma fraternity.

His three companions, meanwhile, are recuperating at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila.

In an interview, Manila Police District Director Rolando Asuncion said they already have the names of 11 suspects but he declined to reveal them while the investigation is ongoing.

The surviving victims will give a statement to the police on Tuesday to shed light on the incident. The MPD has also possessed a security video from the One Archer's Place showing the suspects bringing the victims to the condominium building after the initiation rites.

Student organizations condemned the incident as they asked authorities to immediately bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice.

The League of Filipino Students (LFS) also called on fraternities, sororities and all youth organizations to end the "barbaric practices" still being conducted in several Greek-letter groups.

"Instead of imposing brutality to members, organizations should stand so as to unite the youth and mount their skills, wisdom and talents towards the Filipino people’s fight for genuine social transformation," LFS said.

The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) added that fraternities and sororities should be partners of "genuine" social change, helping in the struggle against the "real enemies" such as dwindling education and social services budget and corrupt practices including but not limited to the pork barrel system.

It blamed the culture of impunity and violence "deeply entrenched" in schools and government for the incident.

The NUSP said this can be seen in the "mercenary traditions" of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and in colleges through the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC), which had been criticized for using hazing to discipline its members. (Sunnex)

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