PAO provides legal aid to alleged hazing victim’s family

By Perfecto Raymundo, Jr.

March 2, 2023, 4:38 pm

<p>PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta <em>(Screengrab from Persida Rueda-Acosta Facebook page)</em></p>

PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta (Screengrab from Persida Rueda-Acosta Facebook page)

MANILA – The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) is providing free legal assistance to the family of a marine engineering student from the University of Cebu who allegedly died of hazing in December 2022.
In a press conference on Thursday, PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said Leny Baguio has sought legal aid from her office in connection with the alleged hazing that claimed the life of her son, Ronnel, 20, a member of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity.
May na-draft na po na complaint-affidavit sa nanay ng biktima. Inaantay pa na ma-authenticate ang messages mula sa phone ng anak ng cybercrime lab upang mai-attach sa complaint (A draft complaint-affidavit from the mother of the victim has been drafted. We are just waiting for the cybercrime laboratory’s authentication of messages from the phone of her son which will be attached to the complaint),” she said.
Acosta said other new members of the organization who were with Ronnel during the alleged hazing are now being contacted for their statements. They are now currently in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental province.
She said PAO is also gathering the statement of Ronnel’s dormmate who brought him to the hospital before he died.
Baguio was rushed to the hospital on Dec. 18, 2022 and died the next day after an alleged hazing perpetrated by the Tau Gamma Phi members on Dec. 10. 
The mother of the victim asked financial assistance from the University of Cebu but it declined her request, saying Ronnel had no insurance, the fraternity was not allowed in the school and the hazing happened outside of the university.
Acosta said her office has sent a letter to the university to request an investigation to determine who were involved in the fraternity.
The causes of death documented in Baguio’s death certificate were severe acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to indirect lung injury, acute kidney injury secondary to rhabdomyolysis and rhabdomyolysis secondary to multiple physical injury. (PNA)