A 22-year-old freshman law student of the University of Santo Tomas has died after allegedly undergoing hazing.
Horacio Tomas Castillo III was found dumped on a sidewalk in Manila and was brought to the Chinese General Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival Sunday morning. “We express our profound sympathy and offer our prayers to his family for their pain and anguish – a pain that we share seeing that the life of our very own student, with all of its aspirations and potentials, taken away because of a senseless act”, UST said. “May he get the justice he deserves”.
According to his father, Castillo’s body was bloated and had candle and cigarette marks and bruising.
On Sunday night, Horacio’s parents received an anonymous text, tipping them about their son’s whereabouts. On Saturday, he attended the organization’s welcoming rites at the UST campus, his father Horacio Castillo Jr. told ABS-CBN News.
In an interview with dzMM radio Monday morning, the student’s father, Horacio Tomas Castillo Jr., said his son joined Aegis Juris Fraternity that supposedly “abhors violence”.
Now, Horacio’s family urges members of UST Law’s Aegis Juris Fraternity to return their calls in order to attain justice for the torture-slay of their son, whom they claim they have never even hurt under the guise of discipline at home.
“I told him not to join because I didn’t want hazing because I’m anxious”.
In a text message to the Philippine Star, Nilo Divina, the dean of UST’s Faculty of Civil Law said that they were not made aware of the fraternity event Horacio attended.
“It was not coordinated with the faculty”.
All officers and members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity have been placed on preventive suspension.
MPD Spokesman Erwin Margarejo said, however, he could not yet confirm if Horacio indeed died in a fraternity-hazing incident.
“The fact that the fraternity being implicated in this hazing death is recognized by the university itself as a legitimate student organization means that UST can not pull the same tricks used by other schools in the past to evade responsibility for the criminal actions of their students, ” he said.
Futhermore, The Aegis Juris fraternity vowed to cooperate with the investigation of the sudden death of Castillo.
“The Fraternity extends its condolences to the bereaved family of Horacio at these very trying times”.
Although he saw the facts surrounding Castillo’s death as quite similar to hazing deaths reported in recent years, Gatchalian noted one key difference: Unlike most incidents, the fraternity linked to Castillo’s death is a duly accredited student organization of the educational institution it calls home. The statement says that an investigation on the incident will be conducted.
“No type of brotherhood can ever equate to the sanctity of life”.
VICTIM’S PARENTS. The parents of UST law student Horacio Castillo III reports about their son’s death to the Manila Police District Homicide Division September 18, 2017.