Hazing fatality a Bedan; phones, shirt yield clues
By Niña Calleja
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER 2:30 am | Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
The man who succumbed to injuries suffered during an alleged fraternity hazing rite in Antipolo City over the weekend was identified on Tuesday as a Freshman Law student of San Beda College Manila.
Police on Tuesday said Marvin Reglos, 25, died wearing a shirt bearing what appeared to be the name of a fraternity, “Lambda Rho Beta,” following the arrest of two law students from another school who are being linked to the crime.
Investigators also seized the two students’ cell phones that had these text messages in Filipino: “News blackout, don’t forget. Erase all messages on your phone regarding the initiation. Don’t answer if asked to name your officers.”
Another message read: “Nobody talks. That’s the order. Erase all messages ASAP. Even this one. You must all obey.”
The messages were sent by one “RJ Gregna.”
The incident drew condemnation on Tuesday from Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, herself a Bedan, who ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a parallel investigation.
De Lima also sought a review of the antihazing law to ensure that fraternity leaders and not just their underlings are made to answer for such crimes.
Relatives who saw Reglos’ body at Antipolo Memorial Homes could hardly speak in shock when told of the confirmation, said Chief Inspector Zaldy Aquino, deputy head of the Antipolo police.
“They were inconsolable. We have yet to talk to them,” Aquino told the Inquirer on Tuesday.
Reglos was taken to Unciano Medical Center around 3 p.m. on Sunday by a group of men in a red Honda City (WMF-174). When the doctor pronounced him dead on arrival, the men immediately left.
The victim bore bruises all over his body but an injury on his nape initially appeared to be the cause of his death, Aquino said.
Minutes after Reglos was left at the hospital by the unidentified group, two more men arrived and inquired about the victim’s condition.
Police officers who were already at the hospital at that time saw the two men and “became suspicious of them (as they were) rushing to get out of the hospital,” Aquino said.
The two were arrested and later identified as Eric Castillo, 28, and Bodjie Yap, 24, both fourth year law students of San Sebastian College.
Their cell phones seized, Castillo and Yap were held at the Antipolo police headquarters and charged with violation of the antihazing law.
Aquino said Reglos died wearing a shirt bearing the name of the “Lambda Rho Beta Fraternity,” which the officer said has members composed mostly of lawyers and law students.
An unidentified man had also called the police giving the purported names of three Lambda Rho Beta members responsible for the fatal hazing. “But we are still verifying that information,” Aquino said.
The hazing reportedly happened between Saturday night and Sunday noon at Guillen Private Resort, Barangay (village) San Roque.
The resort’s security guard had positively identified Castillo and Yap as among those seen at the resort during that period.—With a report from Philip C. Tubeza