Hazing’s deeper wound | Inquirer Opinion

Hazing’s deeper wound

/ 12:01 AM July 22, 2014

The Inquirer editorialized on the case of Lenny Villa (“The silence that kills,” Opinion, 7/11/14).

Villa was killed on Feb. 11, 1991, in an Ateneo Law hazing tragedy. Twenty-six were accused, including Zosimo Mendoza. He retained our firm for himself after all 26 accused were swiftly convicted by the Caloocan Regional Trial Court in 1993, which year of conviction the editorial inaccurately said was the year of arraignment. The editorial erred when it stated that “the first trial date was in 2005.”


In fact, by then the case was in the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals, where we started representing Mendoza, had acquitted them twice, in the judgment proper and in a motion for reconsideration, earlier, in 2002. Only six were convicted.

On Feb. 1, 2012, the Supreme Court acquitted again the 20 who had earlier been acquitted, for the third time. But, it entertained another motion to reconsider in a mind-blowing case of multiple jeopardy. The motion is pending, after two and a half years; Mendoza and others continue to twist in the wind, 24 years after the 1991 tragedy.


Severity of punishment does not deter. Certainty and swiftness of punishment do.

Predictability and consistency are also to be desired. We try to teach, in vain, that

acquittals are immediately final, unappealable and executory.

We share the pain of the Villas, but when the immature system itself is the victim of hazing, the wound is deeper.


[email protected]

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: hazing, lenny villa
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Fearless views on the news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.