CCPO identifies 5 suspects in alleged hazing of college student
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City police have already identified five suspects in the alleged hazing that resulted in the death of Ronnel Baguio, a 20-year-old Mechanical Engineering student last December 2022.
However, Police Lieutenant Colonel Maria Theresa Macatangay, information officer of the Cebu City Police Office, begged off from naming the suspects pending their investigation.
Macatangay, however, clarified that these were members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity.
“Kani, mga myembro ni sila sa Tau Gamma Phi kani nga mga suspects,” Macatangay said.
(These suspects are members of the Tau Gamma Phi.)
As of this posting, Macatangay said that they already had two witnesses who would issue statements regarding the incident, and that they would check if their statements would corroborate.
She said that the investigator was currently drafting the affidavit of one witness, the teacher who reportedly recruited Baguio to join the fraternity.
Another witness, who is from another province, has yet to give his statement.
If their statements corroborate, then that would be the time that the police would proceed in filing a murder case and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law against the suspects even without the complainant, Macatangay said.
Police said that they were aiming to file cases against the suspects early next week.
Macatangay, however, said that they would file the same complaints against the teacher or the alleged recruiter of the victim, but there would be a possibility that he would become a state witness.
“Katong sa recruiter maapil gyud siya sa kaso, so we have to determine gyud unsa may participation kada usa kaning na identify nato nga culprits. Kailangan man na sa balaod nga each of these persons unsay ilahang participation to the crime must be identified, so apil na siya,” she said.
(The recruiter will be included in the case, so we have to determine the participation of each of the culprits. That is needed in the law that each of these persons what their participation to the crime must be identified, so he is included.)
Macatangay also said he hoped that the fraternity would also cooperate with their investigation.
“We would also like to appeal nga dili sad nila hilabtan kung kinsa ni nga mga witnesses nga ni come forth ka on ug nitabang sa investigation. That is the challenge that we are throwing especially to the officers of this fraternity,” she said.
(We would like to appeal that those witnesses, who came forward and helped in the investigation, will not be harmed. That is the challenge that we are throwing especially to the officers of this fraternity.)
Macatangay said that they had already identified the place where the initiation happened, but she refused to give details about this for now.
The victim and his companions, at that time, were reportedly brought in a chapel, and they were blindfolded and taken in an area unfamiliar to them.
Macatangay said that since the incident was reported to the police last December 19, the mother of the victim, Leny, and the investigating personnel of the Mambaling Police Station were in constant communication.
She said that the investigator even asked the mother if they could turn over the cellular phone of the victim so they could find leads who might have contacted the victim before the incident happened.
“Didto unta ta makakuha og mga leads, unfortunately, at that time, the investigator on case, as well as the station, understood that the family was still grieving and the family itself requested nga igkahuman sa lubong and igkagawas sa autopsy,” Mactangay said.
(We could have gotten leads there, unfortunately, at that time, the investigator on case as well as the station, understood that the family was still grieving, and the family itself requested that this could be done after the burial and when the autopsy results would be released.)
When the investigator again contacted them again, they, the police, received the family’s response around January already.
Macatangay said that the delay in the gathering of evidence affected the filing of the case.
However, she also said that the university had already helped the police in their investigation.
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