8 frat members in Davao arrested after hazing death

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Sep) – Eight members of a fraternity where Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte is a member were arrested on Sunday after a violent hazing that resulted in the death of a fourth year student of the University of Mindanao (UM) and caused serious injury to another.

The Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao, in a statement on Monday, identified the deceased victim as August Ceazar P. Saplot, a pledge of the Alpha Kappa Rho (AKRHO) fraternity.

Saplot and his companion were senior students at UM’s College of Criminal Justice Education.

Police said the hazing incident took place at Purok Santo Niño, Sison Village, Upper Mandug, Buhangin District.

Mayor Duterte, although highly visible on social media in the past days on the issue of the city’s water interruptions, was silent on the hazing incident where his fraternity was involved and has not released a statement as of press time.

The mayor belongs to another AKHRO chapter as he attended Ateneo de Davao University for college. Video clips of him seeking support from his fraternity brothers during election or attending AKRHO gatherings while chanting “Long Live Alpha Kappa Rho!” are available online.

Police said the arrested AKRHO members of the fraternity included Jeremiah Obedencia Moya, Leji Wensdy Ofecio Quibuyen, John Lloyd Garciano Sumagang, Harold Joshua Sagaral Flauta, John Steven Baltazar Silvosa, Ramel John Potenciano Gamo, Gilbert Escodero Asoy Jr. and Roseller Andres Gaentano.

PRO-Davao said they are looking for other AKRHO members who allegedly participated in the incident, including Ryan James Ranolo, Harold Gocotano, John Bacacao, Cherie Norico, Kadjo Matobato, and George M. Regalado.

Authorities said the suspects, who are now under the custody of Mandug Police Station 13, would face charges for violation of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law.

The University of Mindanao, in a statement, condemned the violent incident resulting in the death of one student and serious physical injury to another. It said the fraternity members involved were “all members of the AKRHO Alpha Delta Chapter.”

“UM strongly condemns the senseless and deplorable incident in the highest possible consternation and dismay, as the university is also offering its unqualified grief to the victims’ families,” it said.

The school said it has banned all fraternities from the university since the enactment of the Anti-Hazing Law.

“UM is sternly intolerant of fraternities and hazing which only foster the culture of violence, which is an anathema to the core values and conducive learning environment that the university upholds since 1946,” it added.

It said that students behind the incident “bring disrepute to the name of the institution,” with members disrespecting the “president’s strict instructions against hazing inside or outside the university.”

The university said it fully supports the investigation of the law enforcement agencies and upholds whatever legal liabilities imposed upon the perpetrators. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)