Suspect flees; fratmen urged to surrender

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IMMIGRATION officials confirmed on Thursday that Ralph Cabales Trangia, one of the suspects in the death of law UST freshman Horacio Castillo 3rd in hazing rites, left the country Tuesday morning, or a day before the issuance of a lookout order.

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Immigration Port Operations Division chief Red Marinas said Trangia, 22, boarded an EVA Air Flight BR262 bound for Chicago at 1:53 a.m.

The suspects in the Aegis Juris Fraternity hazing rites that led to the death of UST law freshman Horacio Castillo 3rd: Ralph Trangia, Arvin Balag, Axel Hipe and John Paul Solano. Below, Castillo’s dog ‘Lega’ beside the slain law freshman’

Bureau of Immigration spokeswoman Antonette Mangrobang earlier said Trangia’s EVA Air flight was bound for Taipei.

Marinas said Trangia, a University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student, was allowed to board the flight as he was not in the immigration watch list at the time of his departure.

He said immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport received the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) from the Department of Justice at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Trangia, along with his father Antonio and another UST law student, John Paul Solano, are the subjects of a police manhunt.

Police said that the older Trangia owned the Mitsubishi Strada pickup vehicle used to transport Castillo’s body to the Chinese General Hospital, the morning after the supposed hazing rites of Aegis Juris Fraternity on Saturday.

Aside from Ralph Trangia and John Paul Solano, covered by the ILBO were Arvin Balag, Mhin Wei Chan, Marc Anthony Ventura, Axel Mundo Hipe, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Jason Adolfo Robiños, Ranie Rafael Santiago, Danielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo, Carl Matthew Villanueva, Aeron Salientes, Marcelino Bagtang, Zimon Padro and Jose Miguel Salamat.

Passport cancellation sought

The Manila Police District on Thursday asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to cancel the passport of a hazing suspect Ralph Trangia and begin deportation proceedings.

“We are asking the DFA to immediately cancel the passport of Ralph and we already coordinated with the Interpol to locate him,” said the MPD director, Chief Supt. Joel Napoleon Coronel.

Coronel clarified that the Interpol would just help in locating Trangia. There is no arrest warrant yet.
Trangia’s passport will expire on Feb. 25, 2019. He is said to be a regular traveler to San Francisco in the United States, and has a valid US visa.

Based on closed-circuit television footages, Trangia drove the Mitsubishi Strada that brought the dead body of Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital.

Trangia’s father, Antonio, is also considered a suspect since he is the registered owner of the vehicle.

The DFA clarified that a passport can only be cancelled if there is a warrant of arrest. If Trangia’s passport is cancelled, he will be issued a travel document valid only for one-way travel back to Manila, said DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar.

Dean not a suspect

MPD spokesman Supt. Erwin Margarejo said investigators have taken the sworn statement of the security guard on duty on Sunday morning at the Chinese General Hospital.

“The guard’s statement is very important because it will confirm that Solano and the Trangias brought the victim to the hospital,” Margarejo told The Manila Times.

Margarejo also said UST law dean Nilo Divina could not be considered a “person of interest” because no one had implicated him in the Aegis Juris initiation rite.

Divina has admitted being a member of the fraternity, but said he had filed a leave of absence when he became UST law dean eight years ago.

Margarejo said MPD intelligence had obtained good leads on the whereabouts of Solano. “We will soon get him,” he said.

Also, investigators have secured a list of members and officers of Aegis Juris Fraternity.

“More witnesses have come out but we cannot disclose their names yet. We are satisfied with the investigation. Soon we will file the cases,” he said.

Philippine National Police Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa called on the members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity responsible for the hazing to surrender to the authorities.

“Have some conscience. I know you are not bad people. You are not criminals. Maybe it was just spur of the moment or maybe you wanted to prove your manhood to your fraternity,” de la Rosa told reporters in Manila on Thursday.

De la Rosa said the Philippines could use the “doctrine of hot pursuit” in extraditing Trangia from Taiwan.
“Don’t run away from this problem. Face it because it already happened,” de la Rosa appealed to the Aegis Juris members.

VACC asks Congress to amend Anti-Hazing Law

Anti-crime advocates on Thursday called on Congress to immediately act on pending measures seeking to amend the 20-year-old Anti-Hazing Law and have fraternities and other student organizations that use violent initiation rites banned.

“If in the course of the recruitment activity of any fraternity, sorority or other student organization, death results from hazing or initiation rites, the VACC recommends that such organization be banned from operating,” said Dante Jimenez, chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), in a statement.

There are five pending bills that seek to either amend or repeal the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995, filed by Senators Vicente Sotto 3rd, Loren Legarda, Sherwin Gatchalian, Gregorio Honasan and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

The VACC chairman said that even with the Anti-Hazing Law, fraternities and sororities still engage in the illegal practice because they know they can get away with it.

“Despite the number of deaths resulting from violent initiation rites, our youths have not learned their lessons,” said Jimenez.

The slow and corrupt justice system and the “padrino system,” where influential officials of fraternities coddle erring members of the “brotherhood,” has also made the Anti-Hazing Law ineffective, Jimenez said.

Jimenez however made it clear that the VACC was not pushing for the total ban of fraternities.

He said schools must compel recognized organizations in their institution to submit their activities for monitoring purposes.

The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs is set to conduct an investigation into the death of Castillo on Monday.

with JAIME R. PILAPIL, RJ CARBONELL AND JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA

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