THE CAVITE Regional Trial Court (RTC) has acquitted the suspects in the murder of hazing victim Marc Andre Marcos, a UST Legal Management alumnus, due to lack of evidence.

In a decision last Sept. 9, Judge Perla Faller said the case lacked “corroborative evidence” as the statement of the sole witness, Cornelio Marcelo, had failed to support allegations made by Marcos’s family against the 14 fraternity members involved.

The suspects were all from Lex Leonum Fraternitas, an unaccredited organization in San Beda College of Law.

According to ABS-CBN News, Marcelo was present in the initiation rites as the “angel” or the assistant of Marcos during the hazing proper. It was also Marcelo who recruited Marcos, who was a first year law student.

The RTC said Marcelo’s testimony fell short of the requirements of Republic Act No. 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995.

The Anti-Hazing Law states that “no hazing or initiation rites in any form or manner by a fraternity, sorority or organization shall be allowed without prior written notice to the school authorities…and shall further contain an undertaking that no physical violence be employed by anybody during such initiation rites.”

The 21-year-old Marcos died on July 30, 2012 due to extensive traumatic injuries in his upper and lower extremities following initiation rites in Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Last June 3, 10 suspects who were believed to be responsible for his death were arrested. On June 13, the RTC recalled the arrest warrants against eight of them after they submitted a motion for a judicial determination of probable cause.

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Marcos’s death came five months after the death of another hazing victim, San Beda Law student and Legal Management alumnus Marvin Reglos.

The Varsitarian tried to seek comments from the administration of San Beda College, but it declined.

Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina said: “What is important is that the judicial process is observed with due regard to the rights of all parties and that fairness should characterize all the proceedings,” he said. J.C.R. Obice

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