Latest hazing victim Marc Andrei Marcos, a San Beda College law student, was finally laid to rest yesterday morning at Poblacion Memorial Park in his hometown Ramos in Tarlac province.
His relatives, friends, classmates, and supporters attended the funeral mass at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus to pay their last respects, wearing white shirts printed with his picture and a statement “Justice for Andrei.”
Others also wore head, arm, and wrist bands, as well as pins, with the same statement.
Streamers were posted on vehicles, houses, and along the roads, carrying the same call for justice.
The mass was officiated by Rev. Fr. Aloysius Maranan, the rector and president of San Beda College (SBC), along with priests from Tarlac.
Maranan made a promise to Marcos’ family that SBC would cooperate to bring justice to the victim.
“Let Andrei be the last. We cannot afford to lose another son to senseless killing,” he said.
Meanwhile, the victim’s father, Engr. Mac Ferdie Marcos, had these parting words for his son: “We won’t hold it against you, sa naging pagsali mo. We won’t blame you for that. Rest in peace, anak.”
After the funeral, Engr. Marcos said in a TV interview that they would file appropriate charges and request for a hold departure order against the suspects.
Gian Carlo Veluz, 27, prime suspect in the hazing incident, failed to surrender last Friday, so an intelligence team has now been sent to locate his whereabouts, according to police director and Chief Superintendent James Melad of the Calabarzon police.
Two other neophytes, identified as Christopher Ryan Maranan and Ephraim Daniel Lara, have appeared before the police, showing their bruises from the hazing incident where Marcos was also part of.
Melad, however, disclosed in some news reports that the two neophytes were reluctant to stand as complainants or witnesses to the case.
Preventing hazing in PH, possible?
The year’s not over yet, but SBC has already been beset by two hazing incidents. Months before Marcos’ case, another law student, Marvin Reglos, also succumbed to injuries from hazing.
According to Aureliano F. Rulloda, a Certified Security Professional, these incidents will have impact on the image of the school.
“It will affect not just the school in general but the law school and the fraternity members – graduates in particular. They will be generalized as law and regulations violators. Their chances of getting positions in the judiciary and other companies will be [lessened],” he said in an email interview.
More than simply informing the students on the dangers of hazing, he said schools should take measures like banning fraternities in the campus, or regulating the initiation rites of neophytes.
“An example is the UP-APO rites in Diliman, they became a yearly tradition,” he pointed out.
Senator Tito Sotto, in a previous report, called for the amendment of the Anti-Hazing Law.
But Rulloda, who is also a multi-awarded intelligence agent and associate member of the Philippine Military Academy Makatao Class of 1989, said otherwise: “No need to amend, the law enforcement should initiate preventive measures and the judiciary should prosecute hazing violators to the maximum of murder. Even those who participated in the initiation rites.”
However, he admitted hazing is impossible to prevent in schools and in the country. “Hazing can never be prevented due to traditions and the machismo and bravado character of several groups, fraternities in the schools.”