DOJ to issue resolution on Atio case in mid-February


MANILA — The panel of prosecutors handling the case filed against the members of Aegis Juris Fraternity members relative to the death of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III due to alleged hazing is set to release its resolution by the middle of February.

The three-member investigating panel headed by Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva, Prosecution Attorneys Wendell Bendoval and Honey Rose Delgado told Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II that it already finished its preliminary investigation over the case.

The panel wrapped up its preliminary investigation last January 22 and has declared the case submitted for resolution.

“The Prosecution Panel is presently evaluating all of the evidence submitted and shall endeavor to come up with a resolution by mid-February 2018,” read the panel’s report to Aguirre.

The panel initially wrapped up its preliminary investigation last November 16 but had to re-open it after receiving a copy of suspect-turned-witness Marc Anthony Ventura’s sworn statement just last January 3.

Ventura, who is under the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program, earlier narrated how his fraternity brothers took turns in beating up Castillo inside the Aegis Juris library in Sampaloc, Manila.

He also named some of Aegis Juris members who took part in the initiation.

The MPD filed its complaint before the DOJ on Sept. 25, 2017, while Atio’s parents submitted a supplemental complaint on Oct. 9, 2017.

The MPD named 18 respondents in its complaint for murder, robbery and in violation of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law.

Meanwhile, Atio’s parents filed charges of murder, robbery, and violation the Anti-Hazing Law against 31 individuals, including UST law dean Nilo Divina.

They also charged 23 respondents of committing four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice.

The family said Castillo died after undergoing initiation rites of the Aegis Juris fraternity on September 17, 2017.