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Lacson sees signs of ‘cover-up’ in Atio Castillo’s hazing case

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired by Senator Dick Gordon, conducts a hearing on the P6.4 Billion worth of shabu shipment from China, on the possible malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance of the Bureau of Customs officials and employees.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Sept 28 (Mabuhay) — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday said there is an “evident” attempt to conceal certain details in the death of hazing victim Horacio Castillo III.

“Very evident ang cover-up. Malinaw yan. Kasi pagka frat may omerta yan, code of silence. Yan ang nagti-trigger ng cover-up,” Lacson told reporters.

The 22-year-old University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student died of a massive heart attack after sustaining injuries allegedly during the initiation rites of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

Atio’s body was brought to the Chinese General Hospital (CGH) on September 18 with bruises and candle wax drippings. The Manila Police District (MPD) confirmed after an autopsy that Castillo had undergone hazing.

It was later learned that John Paul Solano, the medical technologist who claimed to have found him and brought him to the hospital, was a member of the fraternity.

He also admitted to issuing a false story that he found Castillo’s body by chance and brought it to CGH along Blumentritt Road upon orders from his frat brothers.

The hazing supposedly took place at the Aegis Juris fraternity foundation office located on Laon-Laan-Navarra Street, which is less than a kilometer away from the UST campus that had its own hospital.

“The mere fact napakaaga ang nangyari, tapos 9 o’clock nakarating sa CGH at saka sa CGH dinala instead of UST, doon pa lang makikita mo na ang evidence ng cover-up,” Lacson said.

The senator said he could not disclose any information on the alleged cover-up from the executive session of the ongoing Senate probe.

He did, however, share that the suspected involvement of Aegis Juris Fraternity in Castillo’s death did not extend to its known member, UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean, Attorney Nilo Divina.

“That, we have yet to find out or establish kung (mayroong connection). Ang nakita kong pinakamalapit, ang foundation. ‘Yan ang pinakamalapit kasi he’s (Divina) one of so many incorporators,” Lacson said, referring to the foundation.

“But acknowledged naman ang foundation, iyan ang naroon talaga. At ang resource center nila, klaro naman yan,” he added.

Divina on Monday claimed he had long been inactive in the fraternity and said he was not aware of who owned the foundation’s office.

He also said that he does not know who owns the Aegis Juris fraternity foundation office. (MNS)

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