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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Police tag 5 in Cebu hazing death

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Five fraternity officials who were suspects in the alleged hazing death of University of Cebu student Ronnel Baguio last December have been identified, the Cebu City police said Sunday.

The police added they found two witnesses during their investigation, including the fraternity member who supposedly recruited Baguio, as the suspects will face cases of murder and violation of the anti-hazing law.

Meanwhile, the chief of the Biñan City police has called on two participants in the fraternity welcoming and initiation rites that led to the death of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig to come forward as victims.

Police Lt. Col. Virgilio Jopia said their investigation revealed four people were allegedly hazed during the rites held at a house in Biñan last week.

They included Salilig, two others the local police have already identified, and an alias “Diesel”, the neophyte who helped police arrest and file charges against six members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity.

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Salilig and the two were already frat members during the incident.

Salilig’s body was found buried in a lot in Imus, Cavite last Tuesday.

His remains were buried in Zamboanga City last Saturday.

In the Cebu incident, the Public Attorney’s Office said Baguio was allegedly hazed on December 10, 2022, and rushed to the hospital on December 18, 2022.

Based on his death certificate, Baguio died from Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Secondary to Indirect Lung Injury, Acute Kidney Injury secondary to Rhabdmyolosis, and Acute Kidney Injury secondary to Rhabdomyolosis.

“‘The ones who did this enjoyed the Christmas and New Year (holidays), while we will be mourning all our lives,” the victim’s mother, Leny Baguio, said in a 24 Oras Weekend report on GMA on Sunday.

“This is why I hope they feel guilty and take pity on me, take pity on us, and more so, take pity on my child,” she added.

For now, the two participants in the Salilig hazing are still considered persons of interest, police said. (See full story online at

Jopia warned the two fratmen against delaying approaching the police, lest they be also tagged as suspects when police file additional cases next week, he said at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila.

Out of the 18 other persons of interest in the case, police are still looking for nine. One was found dead in Taguig City.

Jopia confirmed that one more person of interest voluntarily surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday and has yet to be turned over to them. Seven have been detained by Biñan police.

Charges have already been filed against six, including the Grand Triskelion of the Tau Gamma Phi Adamson Chapter.

The seventh, the “master initiator” of the rites dubbed alias “Sting”, underwent inquest on Saturday at the DOJ.

Jopia said “Sting” detailed how he and his frat-mates planned disposing of Salilig’s body and identified those involved.

He added the master initiator’s camp made a request for a preliminary investigation on his case.

The prosecutor gave the camp until March 10 to submit their counter-affidavit to the one filed by alias “Diesel”, the neophyte complainant, Jopia said.

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