Faster response could have saved hazing victim

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Guillo Cesar Servando could have survived the ordeal of hazing if he was brought to the hospital immediately after the initiation rites, Philippine Red Cross Secretary-General Gwendolyn Pang said on Thursday.

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Pang told The Manila Times that fraternity men reached One Archers Tower at 9:30 p.m., called Patrol 117 an hour later and Red Cross ambulance picked up the victim at 10:45 p.m.

“That 1 hour and 15 minutes could have saved Servando. That was the most critical period,” she said.

Servando on June 28, together with some of his fellow students at College of Saint Benilde (CSB), at 4 p.m. joined the initiation rites of Tau Gamma Phi. After the hazing, he was brought to One Archers Tower, an upscale condominium. At the time, the 18-year-old sophomore could no longer stand up by himself. He was declared dead by doctors at Philippine General Hospital.

Pang said the friends of Servando led by condominium unit occupant John Paul Raval could be liable under existing laws. Raval and two other Saint Benilde students, although also victims of the hazing, could be liable for damages and for the death of Servando.

Although the fraternity men were exercising their right to organize, they caused damage to the victims, which is contrary to law.

On claim for damages, Civil Code Article 19 says, “Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith.”

Article 20 says, “Every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.”

And according to Article 21, “Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.”

The fraternity men and the CBS students may be held criminally liable.

Provisions may or may not be applicable to those who failed to bring the victims to the hospital for immediate aid, instead of waiting for one hour or more, considering that there may be malice in their failure to lend a hand since they were trying to evade prosecution for the offense of hazing.

Also, there are many offenses in hazing not related to injuries/death of victims such as, non-reporting of the prohibited activity to school authorities and use of establishment/abode, among others.

Bomb scare at CSB
The College of Saint Benilde received a bomb threat also on Thursday.

The Explosive and Ordnance Disposal Unit of the Manila Police District said the threat was made in an early-morning telephone call to the school.

It, however, refused to give details to the media at press time, saying the report was yet to be signed by a superior who was not around.

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