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Mother of alleged hazing victim in Cebu pleads for progress in case

The mother of an alleged hazing victim in Cebu on Thursday pleaded with police personnel to coordinate with others for progress in her case, months after her 20-year-old son passed away in December 2022.

“Nananawagan po ako sa mga kapulisan po ng Cebu na kung maari po ay makipag tulungan po tayo para mapabilis po ‘yung kaso ng anak ko, katulad ng dito po sa Cavite po,” Leny Baguio said at a press conference.

“At saka, nananawagan din po ako na sana po ay matigil na po itong hazing na ito kasi kawawa naman po ang mga anak namin at mas kawawa kaming mga magulang,” she added.

According to Public Attorney’s Office director Revelyn Ramos-Dacpano, Baguio approached PAO for help on January 27, 2023 for the death of her son, Ronnel Baguio, due to alleged hazing on December 19, 2022.

She said the hazing occurred on December 10, 2022 while Ronnel was rushed to the hospital on December 18, 2022.

Based on his death certificate, the cause of death was Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Secondary to Indirect Lung Injury, Acute Kidney Injury secondary to Rhabdomyolysis, and Acute Kidney Injury secondary to Rhabdomyolysis.

Ramos-Dacpano said the investigation also showed that an instructor at Ronnel’s university was involved in his hazing.

“Napadalhan na rin ng letter ang University of Cebu para i-request ‘yung investigation at para malaman kung sino-sino ang sangkot sa fraternity maliban sa instructor na nabanggit,” she said.

The PAO director said there is already a draft for the complaint affidavit but they are still waiting for the cybercrime lab to authenticate the messages from Ronnel.

For her part, PAO chief Persida Acosta said she will order prosecutors to file the complaint.

“‘Yung sa Cebu, ipapa-file ko na ‘yung affidavit-complaint. To follow ‘yung cybercrime unit,” she said. 

According to Chino Gaston’s “24 Oras” report on Thursday, Leny said her son called her saying that he felt dizzy, was vomiting, and having difficulty breathing on December 18.

“Mensahe ko po sa mga school na mayroong fraternity sa kanila, nagmamakaawa po ako sa inyo na kung maaari huwag na kayong magpapasok ng fraternity. Sobrang sakit po mawalan ng isang anak, nag-iisang anak ko lang po yun,” Lenny said.

(My message to schools which have fraternities, I'm begging you that if possible, please don't allow fraternity. It hurts so much to lose a child, he's my only child.)

Among the evidence gathered were the messages on Ronnel’s cellphone which showed his communication with one of the teachers in the school, who is also a member of the fraternity.

Based on the messages, Ronnel was asking if he could take the initiation. He also asked where he would stay after the initiation because his roommates will see his bruises.

The teacher replied in jest, saying that it depends whether “he will be dead or alive.”

“Marami ang involved dito eh dahil marami ang nagtulong tulong eh pero iisa pa lang ang identified eh. Kahit isa lang ifile na natin yan eh di siya magturo yung teacher,” Acosta said.

(Many people are involved in this because many have helped but only one has been identified. Even if we file against the teacher, he can pinpoint the other suspects.)

“Ang hirap takip takipan yan kaya dapat pareho pareho ang penalty pumalo at hindi pumalo, reclusion perpuetua yun ang dapat gawin kasi nandoon ka hindi mo man lang pinipigilan ang mga bangag mong kasama,” she added.

(It's hard because they are covering each other, so the penalty should be the same for all whether they hit the victim or not, they will face reclusion perpetua that's what should be done because you're there and you don't even stop your friends.)

GMA Integrated News is still trying to get the side of the school.— With Richa Noriega/RSJ, GMA Integrated News