UST suspends fraternities, sororities for SY 2018-2019

Marje Pelayo   •   May 23, 2018   •   3011

University of Santo Tomas


MANILA, Philippines – The school administration of the University of Santo Tomas has ordered the suspension of all operations of fraternity and sorority groups in school system effective in the next school year 2018 to 2019.

In a memorandum issued by the UST’s Office of the Student Affairs, recruitment and other activities of the said groups and related organizations should stop following the hazing incident that killed freshman law student, Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.

Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) facilitated the transfer of the accused parties in the Horacio “Atio” Castillo III hazing-slay case Wednesday, May 23.

The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 ordered yesterday, May 22, the transfer of 10 members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity implicated in Atio’s death after it denied the suspects’ petition and agreed with the prosecution that the NBI is not a regular detention facility.

The prosecution also argued that hazing is not among the crimes covered in the duties and responsibilities of the NBI.

The ten accused are:  Arvin Balag, Robin Ramos, Jose Miguel Salamat, Danielle Hans Matthew, Mhin Wei Chan, Axel Munro Hipe, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Ralph Trangia, Joshua Joriel Macabali and Marcelino Bagtang.– UNTV News & Rescue

Baguio court orders arrest of PMA cadets, officials involved in Dormitorio hazing death

Robie de Guzman   •   July 8, 2020

A court in Baguio City has ordered the arrest of three Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets indicted for the death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio.

The Regional Trial Court Branch 5 of Baguio City issued arrest warrants against 3rd Class Cadets Shalimar Imperial Jr. and Feliz Lumbag Jr., and Cadet Julius Carlo Tadena for murder charges over Dormitorio’s death allegedly due to hazing.

The warrant of arrest issued by Presiding Judge Maria Ligaya Itliong-Rivera stated that no bail was recommended for the cadets.

The local court also released warrants of arrest against the three officials from the PMA Station Hospital, namely, Lieutenant Colonel Ceasar Candelaria, Captain Flor Apple Apostol, and Major Maria Ofelia Beloy who have also been charged for murder.

The warrant of arrest states that the PMA officers may post bail at P200,000 each.

Dormitorio died inside a PMA barracks in September last year after suffering alleged hazing-related injuries. It was learned that prior to his death, he was hospitalized twice after suffering injuries supposedly caused by his fellow cadets. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Grace Doctolero)

Tau Gamma Phi – Albay suspends recruitment after hazing death in Sorsogon

Marje Pelayo   •   February 19, 2020

ALBAY, Philippines — The Tau Gamma Phi fraternity through its governor-general Erwin Bola on Tuesday (February 18) issued an order to suspend all recruitment activities including final initiation rites following the death of a neophyte in Bulan, Sorsogon.

The victim has been identified as 23-year-old Omer Despabiladeras, a criminology student from Solis Institute of Technology who died during the initiation of the group’s Bulan chapter on February 16.

“In connection with this alarming incident, I am mandating all concerned brothers and sisters to stop all forms of initiation/final rites of Tau Gamma Phi under Albay Provincial Council effective today, February 18, 2020,” Bola said.

An investigation is underway to determine who are responsible for the death of Despabiladeras.

New PMA Commandant wants cadets’ honor system, mental health strengthened

Marje Pelayo   •   September 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Newly installed Commandant of Cadets BGen. Romeo Brawner Jr. has declared war against hazing inside the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Brawner wants to change the culture inside the institution by strengthening the PMA’s honor system, instead of focusing on physical standards.

The PMA is governed by an “honor code” which bars all cadets from any act of dishonesty, theft and deception.

 “[Our honor code is] perfect in itself but the implementation is sometimes different among the cadets, among the company,” Brawner noted.

Aside from physical examination, Brawner plans to launch a program that will focus on the cadets’ mental health “to make sure that everybody who remains in the Cadet Corps are mentally fit,” he said.

Amid the controversy of hazing deaths, the PMA still has no record of a plebe quitting the Academy.

The PMA assures parents and guardians that the cadets are well taken care of throughout the duration of their stay in the Academy.

“Noong nangyari ito, naging bukas ang PMA sa lahat ng imbestigasyon ng proper authorities. Wala po siyang tinago or walang cover-up na ginawa, (When the [hazing] happened, the PMA has been open to investigation by proper authorities. [The Academy] has nothing to hide nor has it anything to cover up),” assured PMA Spokesperson Maj. Reynan Afan. – MNP (with details from April Cenedoza)


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