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UP frat neophyte died of traumatic injuries, autopsy shows

Fraternity neophyte Cris Anthony Mendez of the University of the Philippines (UP) died because of traumatic injuries to various parts of his body, GMA News quoted a police autopsy report as showing. Mendez sustained at least 10 hematomas, according to a medico-legal report of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) crime laboratory. The autopsy findings showed that the 20-year-old graduating public administration student had bruises on both sides of his chest, knees, and thighs. The largest bruises were found on both of his arms and measured at least 50 centimeters each. The findings also indicated a bruise on his shoulder which extended to his shoulder blade. Blood clotting was also noted near his spine or on his vertebral region. The lungs of Mendez were also "contused and hemorrhagic," while the rest of the internal organs in his abdominal area were "markedly congested," the medical report said. The medico legal officer who came up with the report, Chief Insp. Filemon Porciuncula Jr, was not immediately available to explain the medical findings, GMA News said. Mendez was rushed to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) at about 1:08 a.m. of August 27 but was declared dead on arrival. Hospital guard Jonathan Garduce, in a statement before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), said that a certain Dr Francisco Cruz, the latter's son and several men brought Mendez to the hospital. Superintendent Lino Banaag, chief of the QCPD Homicide Division, said the elder Cruz has already expressed his willingness to give an account of the incident. "Cris was brought to the Cruz residence. He was weak. As a doctor, Francisco resuscitated him and gave him CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitatation). Then he instructed his son to rush Mendez to Veterans (hospital)," Banaag recalled Cruz as telling him in the a phone conversation. Cruz, who is said to be an ophthalmologist at the VMMC, as well as the hospital's attending physician Dr Daphne Gascon, will be questioned to establish the cause of the victim's death. "We would know from Dr Gascon who attended on the victim if the victim died from hazing or not," a police investigator told GMA News. The NBI will also question VMMC administrative officer Dolores Geronimo. The police will also take sworn statements from Ariel Paolo Ante, Fuzzy Clemente and Rina Reyes, students at the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG), who were last seen with Mendez. Ante and Clemente are believed to be Sigma Rho members, earlier reports said. The NBI has also called on the UP Sigma Rho fraternity to cooperate on the ongoing probe. The group has been blamed for Mendez's death, but nobody has yet come in to confirm it. The UP administration slapped 30-day preventive suspension orders against four ranking officials of the Sigma Rho fraternity. The four resident fraternity officers are Raul Grapilon, Roland Chua Andrew Dela Rosa, and Armand Sapitan. - GMANews.TV