The start of this week was greeted with news of the untimely death of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio Tomas Castillo III in another incident of alleged hazing that shocked the nation.
Horacio’s lifeless body was found inside a bag that was dumped along the sidewalks of Balut, Tondo over the weekend. Autopsy reports indicate that the 22-year-old aspiring lawyer died due to a massive heart attack potentially caused by the injuries he sustained.
The outrage that ensued was nothing short of overwhelming. Senators, UST, and even the public were united in condemning the role hazing played in the tragic incident.
Horacio is by no means the first victim whose dreams were cut short by flase promises of brotherhood. Below are some recent local cases where hazing proved to be fatal.
Christian dela Cruz
In June 2015, Christian reportedly joined a street gang called True Brown Style. To get accepted, he had to undergo what members refer to as the “30 seconds massacre”—an act where frat brothers beat up an initiate for half a minute.
The 14-year-old survived the hazing rites, but was then rushed to the Bulacan Medical Center after complaining of breathing problems. There, the attending doctor said that Christian was already in critical condition. His death was primarily caused by damage to his liver and spleen.
In October 2014, Ariel came home with badly bruised thighs. The 20-year-old refused to talk when asked by his parents about it. However, his condition quickly worsened, which forced his family to rush him to the Bicol Medical Center in Naga City.
Before dying of kidney failure, his parents claimed that Ariel told them he was a victim of hazing rites conducted by the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity.
In June 2014, four students allegedly underwent the hazing rites of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity. One of them was 18-year-old De La Salle sophomore Guillo Servando, who was already in critical condition right after the initiation.
What made the incident more appalling was the CCTV footage of Servando, who was still alive at that time and physically struggling. He eventually fell over and was shown being dragged inside a condominium.
Marc Andre Marcos
Marc Andre was rushed to the emergency section of the De La Salle Medical Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite in July 2012. His arms and thighs were badly bruised as doctors tried to revive him but failed. The 20-year-old San Beda College law freshman eventually died due to multi-organ failure. He was allegedly beaten by members of the Lex Leonum fraternity, but the accused were cleared from charges the following year.
Back in 2012, the San Beda College was embroiled in controversy after the death of Marvin Reglos, a first year law student. The 25-year-old was apparently still alive after allegedly undergoing the initiation rites of the Lambda Rho Beta fraternity in Antipolo City. Unfortunately, Reglos’ family opted for an amicable settlement the next year due to unfavorable developments in their case.