Atio’s kin wants Divina, UST officials included in hazing probe

MANILA — The family of University of Sto.Tomas (UST) law student Horacio ‘Atio’ Tomas Castillo III, who died in hazing rites allegedly conducted by the Aegis Juris Fraternity, is set to ask the Department of Justice (DOJ) to include some university officials as respondents in the criminal complaint.

Lawyer Lorna Kapunan, who is representing the Castillo family as private complainant, manifested during the proceedings last October 4 that she would be submitting a supplemental affidavit to include UST Faculty of Civil Law dean Nilo Divina and other officials of the university in the case.

Kapunan earlier said “there must be a burden of proof on the authorities of the school to prove their innocence.”

She noted that it was clear from the investigation conducted by the Senate that there was a cover-up in connection with the death of Castillo.

Sought for a comment, Divina said he is saddened that the Castillo family is being manipulated by their legal counsel into doing something that is patently baseless.

“Our objective should be to find justice for Atio and find out the truth. Instead, the obvious objective is now to lay the blame on innocent people to further the lawyer’s personal agenda,” Divina said.

During the October 4 hearing, MPD legal counsel Rico Betic manifested that he would be submitting supplemental complaint affidavit and evidence to bolster their case against the respondents.

The MPD said it would submit the results of the Scene of the Crime Operations (SOCO) on the fluids and other evidence it might have extracted from the Aegis Juris Fraternity Library, they are also still securing cellular phone records from the telecommunication company, and to include Antonio Trangia as one of the respondents in the hazing complaint.

The DOJ investigating panel — Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva, head of the panel, with Associate Prosecutor Attorneys Wendell Bendoval and Honey Rose Delgado as members — ruled to give the complainants until Oct. 9 to submit their supplemental complaints and additional evidence.

Primary suspect John Paul Solano has been charged with murder, violation of Republic Act 8049 (Anti-Hazing Law), perjury, obstruction of justice and robbery by the MPD before the DOJ.

Other suspects facing complaints of murder and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law are other members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity as well as members of its sister organization, Regina Legis et Juris Sorority.

They are Antonio Trangia and his son Ralph; Arvin R. Balag, Mhin Wei R. Chan, Ranie Rafael Santiago, Oliver John Audrey B. Onofre, Jason Adolfo Robiños, Danielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo, Karl Mathew Villanueva, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Axel Munro Hipe, Marc Anthony Ventura, Aeron Salientes, MarcelinoBagtang, Zimon Padro and Jose Miguel Salamat.

Trangia’s mother, Rosemarie, was also included in the complaint for obstruction of justice.

She flew with her son to the US a few days after the incident and before the DOJ could issue a hold departure order.

The panel gave the respondents until October 24 to file their respective counter-affidavits.