Hazing News

Bizarre twist following hazing death

Doc in UP student’s hazing death disappears

The doctor who brought the body of an alleged hazing victim to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City on Monday has gone into hiding.

A source told ABS-CBN News that Dr. Francisco Cruz, a VMMC physician, went on “emergency leave.”

It was Cruz who brought the body of Cris Anthony Mendez to the hospital.

VMMC declined to issue a statement on Cruz’s alleged involvement to the death of Mendez, who was reportedly being recruited to join the Sigma Rho fraternity in the University of the Philippines’s College of Law.

ABS-CBN correspondent Adrian Ayalin learned that Cruz lives in Congressional Village in Quezon City. A check with the subdivision security guard and a call to Cruz’s home confirmed this.

Cruz called up Cruz’s home again on Thursday but the woman who answered the phone said he has yet to return.

It was also learned that Cruz has a son named “Miko” who studies law in UP. The law student is reportedly a Sigma Rho member.

Ariel Paul Ante, chairman of the student council of the UP National College of Public Administration  and Governance, meanwhile, has also disappeared.

Ante was identified as the one who recruited Mendez into the fraternity.

The 20-year-old Mendez, a graduating student, was declared dead-on-arrival at the VMMC early Monday morning.

Reports said he was brought to the hospital by a man identified as “Dr. Francisco Cruz.” The man was in a white van with license plate ZAB-393, which was followed by two other vehicles, among which was another vehicle with license plate XAS-548.

Reports said Mendez was already pale and unresponsive when he reached the hospital and that he had bruises all over his body, particularly on the back of his arms and thighs.

Mendez, who hailed from Tiaong, Quezon, is the eldest in the family. With a report from the Philippine Star

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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