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Tau Gamma Phi neophyte fainted after initiations: Tinaktak para mabuhay

A fellow neophyte of 18-year-old Raymark "RR" Rabutazo recounted his last moments after undergoing initiations of the Tau Gamma Phi on Sunday in Laguna.

According to Ian Cruz's report on "24 Oras", 24-year-old neophyte Arnel said they were already finished with the rites for some 30 minutes when RR fainted.

"Tinataktak po para mabuhay... para bumalik magkamalay siya," Arnel said.

Arnel said he met up with RR and another neophyte Ruel early Sunday at 5 a.m. at a local plaza before heading to the mountainous area in Barangay San Juan where the hours-long initiations were conducted.

RR was still conscious after the initiation rites ended around 9 a.m. but suddenly fainted when he tried to stand up.

Arnel said it alarmed the fraternity officials and tried to wake him up.

"Tinataktak po siya para bumalik pagkamalay nya,” Arnel said.

(They tried to wake him up. They were shaking him to bring back his consciousness.”)

Arnel said he only learned about RR’s death hours later after another fraternity official assisted him and Ruel in leaving the venue.

Like RR, the two other victims suffered bruises due to injuries and burns on their chests. Their faces were also wounded due to sharp blows.

Ruel, for his part, called on the fraternity members to hold themselves accountable over the tragic incident.

“Sana po kung talagang nagkulang sila, panagutan nila kung may kasalanan po sila. Kasi po nakapatay po sila eh,” he said.

(If they are really liable then they should be accountable. They killed someone.)

Remil Rabutazo, the victim’s father, said at least 23 fraternity members were present at the hazing venue — some of them their relatives.

He wants to file charges against all of them and not let go into waste their family’s fight for justice over his son’s death.

“Yun ang gusto sir para hindi sayang ang paghihirap na maano ang kaso ng ating bata,” he said.

(That’s what we want. We will not waste our family’s fight for our son.”)

Two fraternity officials have been presented for inquest at the prosecutor's office in the province for homicide and violation of anti-hazing law charges.

Seven other members will also face raps over the incident.

The local police have recovered the paddle used in the incident that will serve as evidence in the case.

They also assured they will “dig deeper” into the investigation to identify more persons related to it.

“Hindi pa po case closed ito, we wil dig deeper (into) the investigation para makita natin yung mga iba pang persons involved sa insidente na to,” P/Lt. Erico Bestid said.

(This is not a case closed. We will dig deeper into the investigation to identify more persons related to the case.) —Sundy Mae Locus/NB, GMA News