MANILA -- The family of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio 'Atio' Tomas Castillo III, who died in hazing rites allegedly conducted by the Aegis Juris Fraternity, on Monday filed a supplemental complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) to include University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law dean Nilo Divina, and members of Aegis Juris Fraternity as respondents in the case.
Atio’s parents, Horacio II and Carmina, appeared before the investigating panel chaired by Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva and took oath on their affidavit assisted by their lawyer Lorna Kapunan.
The supplemental complaints were filed for violating Republic Act 2049, the Anti-Hazing Law; murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC); four counts of perjury under Article 183 of the RPC; and obstruction of justice under Presidential Decree 1829 against trustees of the Aegis Juris Foundation Inc. including Divina and Arthur Capili.
Atio’s parents also included in the complaint Vicente Garcia, owner of the building where Atio’s alleged hazing took place.
The complainants also included as respondents the trustees of the Aegis Foundation, namely: William S. Merginie, Cezar N. Tirol, Oscar T. Ce, Alexander J. Flores, Alvin S. Dysangco, Henry C. Pablo, Gabrial T. Robeniol, Michael Joseph G. Fernandez, Allan Christopher S. Agati, Paulino L. Yusi, Arnel Bernardo and Edwin C. Uy. Both Divina and Capili are also trustees, based on the complaint.
The supplemental complaint also named 20 respondents, including Aegis Juris fratman John Paul Solano; Ralph Trangia, Trangia’s mother Rosemarie, Arvin Balag, Mhin Wei Chan, Marc Anthony Ventura, Axel Munro Hipe, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Jason Adolfo Robinos, Lennert Bryan Galicia, Nathan Anarna, Robin Ramos, Leo Lalusis, Jose Miguel Salamat, Ranie Santiago, Karl Matthew Villanueva, Marcelino Bactang, and Chuck Salazar. They are already included in the previous similar complaint filed by the Manila Police District (MPD).
Lawyer Lino Kapunan, one of the legal counsels of Atio’s parents, explained they have evidence to show that Divina knew Atio was going to undergo initiation rites with the fraternity on the day the UST law student died.
“Meron kaming nakitang text message na ang sabi ni Atio na nandoon sa law office sa may Petron sa may Buendia. Ang pinakasikat na law office doon ay Divina Law sa Pacific Star. So it seems na malamang Divina Law pinuntahan niya. Ibig sabihin alam ng mga brods nila sa Divina Law na may neophyte (We saw a text message where Atio said that there is a law office near Petron in Buendia. The most famous law office there is Divina Law at Pacific Star. So it seems he went to Divina Law. It means that their frat brothers in Divina Law know that there is a neophyte.),” he told reporters after the hearing.
Earlier, Divina said he is saddened that the Castillo family is allegedly being manipulated by their legal counsel into doing something that is patently baseless.
During Monday's hearing, MPD legal counsel Rico Betic also presented the witnesses from Chinese General Hospital and evidence like the copy of CCTV, the results of the Scene of the Crime Operations on the fluids and other evidence it might have extracted from the Aegis Juris Fraternity Library to bolster their case against the respondents.
Lawyer Paterno Esmaquel, Solano's counsel, informed the DOJ panel of prosecutors handling the cases that he filed a motion before the Manila court to exclude as evidence the items taken by the MPD during the search of the Aegis Juris library where the initiation rites of Atio took place.
“We filed the omnibus motion to quash and exclude evidence obtained in the search and seizure because the search warrant was issued on the basis of a non-existing offense,” he explained to reporters.
The panel gave the respondents until October 24 to file their respective counter-affidavits while those named in the supplemental complaints were given until October 30 to file their respective counter-affidavits.
Castillo reportedly died during hazing rites of the Aegis Juris fraternity last September 16. (PNA)