Hazing News

Criz Memdez injuries part of probe

Medical examiner in hazing case summoned to NBI
By Tina Santos
Last updated 05:30pm (Mla time) 10/13/2007

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation has summoned the medico-legal officer who conducted an autopsy on the body of suspected hazing victim Cris Anthony Mendez.

Lawyer Romulo Asis, chief of the NBI Anti-Terrorism Division which is handling the case, said he expected Chief Inspector Filemon Porciuncula, medico legal officer of Quezon City Police District Crime Laboratory Office, to appear at the bureau Monday morning.

“We will ask him about his findings when he autopsied the body of Mendez,” Asis said. “We want to find out whether his findings were affected by the fact that the body was already embalmed before it was subjected to an autopsy.”

Clarito Andrade, a morgue attendant at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, had earlier claimed that Dr. Francisco Cruz prevented him from conducting an autopsy on Mendez’s body.

Andrade said Cruz, who took the mortally injured Mendez to the hospital, asked him to immediately release the victim’s body to St. Peter Memorial Chapel.

“Normally, in medico-legal cases such as this, the cadaver should be subjected first to an autopsy before it would be embalmed,” Asis explained. “We believe that it would have given the medico-legal officer a better chance to evaluate his findings if he was allowed to autopsy the body first before it was embalmed and not the other way around.”

According to the Quezon City Police District Crime Laboratory report, Mendez suffered “traumatic injuries on the upper and lower extremities” as characterized by bruises on his body — a sign of heavy beating.

The autopsy findings also showed that the victim had “contused lungs” or bruises in his lungs, proof that he was hit hard on the chest or on the back.

“We want to find out from him (Porciuncula) what could have caused Mendez’s contusions and hematoma? Was this a result of hazing? Dr. Cruz claimed it was caused by mauling,” Asis said.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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