By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The three individuals linked to the deadly hazing of a Grade 10 student in the town of San Enrique in Negros Occidental last September 2021 were arrested after a warrant was issued against them.
The three were identified as 19-year-old Johnrey Ermisillas; 25-year-old Neil John Villarde; and 30-year-old Rexie Daylosan, all residents of the town’s Barangay Guintoliran.
The three were allegedly responsible for the death of 18-year-old Mark Lester Miranda, also a resident of the said barangay and a student of the Doña Hortencia Salas Benedicto National High School in La Carlota City.
San Enrique deputy police chief, Police Lt. Sammy Gasataya, said the warrant of arrest for the three suspects were released last December 8, and they were all arrested on December 28.
The three are charged with violating Section 3 in relation to Section 14(a) of Republic Act 11053, or the “Anti-Hazing Law.”
The warrant was signed by Judge Mary Jennifer Archies, Assistant Judge of the 6th Judicial Region, Branch 62.
The case is non-bailable.
Based on a timeline of the events which led to Miranda’s death, on the night of September 3 the victim celebrated his 18th birthday and he was brought by the suspects to another place where he was to be paddled as part of the initiation rites in joining their fraternity.
A few days later, Miranda’s family noticed that he had been limping and on September 8 he suddenly felt unwell and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Prior to his death on September 9, the victim was able to explain to his mother why he was having a fever and revealed that he had been paddled on September 3.
It was also reported that on March 3 of the same year, there was also an earlier attempt to paddle Miranda as part of the initiation rites, however, it was canceled after it was discovered that he was still a minor.
Based on an autopsy report made by municipal health officer, Dr. Fritzi Juanillo, the victim suffered hematoma on both of his lower buttocks.
Gasataya said the victim’s last testimony to his mother or “dying declaration” was used as evidence against the three suspects.
In a separate radio interview via Brigada News FM-Bacolod yesterday morning, Atty. Cesar Beloria Jr. explained the “dying declaration” is exempted from the “hearsay rule” and it is enough evidence for the charges to be filed against the three.
Even if the suspects were to claim that they do not have any intention to kill Miranda, they cannot use it as a defense citing provisions from the “anti-hazing law.”
“Ang intent is no longer a defense nga wala ka intent to kill or manakit kay part sang proseso, regardless sang intent and there is hazing, it is punishable by law and it is a heinous crime. The act itself of conducting the hazing whether may consent or wala sang biktima will qualify sa anti-hazing law kag ini ang may penalidad nga reclusion perpetua ukon life imprisonment bangud napatay ang biktima,” Beloria added./DGB, WDJ