MANILA (Updated) -- Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has offered government protection to all witnesses to the killing of hazing victim Horacio Castillo III.
"If they want to tell the truth or clear their names they can come to my office and we will place them under the Witness Protection Program (WPP)," Aguirre said in a statement.
Castillo, a University of Santo Tomas law student, was killed last weekend during the welcoming rites of Aegis Juris Fraternity.
His body was found in Tondo, Manila last Sunday as claimed by John Paul Solano, a member of the fraternity who is now considered as one of the key suspects in the killing.
The justice chief said all witnesses in Castillo's killing should not fear the Department of Justice (DOJ) but those who are advising them not to surface and divulge what they know.
"They can trust us, they have nothing to fear from us," he said.
"They should fear more the ones hiding them or the ones advising them not to come out," he added.
In line with this, the DOJ creates “DOJHoracio hotline” (0995 442 9241) for those who have information regarding the death of Castillo.
The persons of interest in the case, mostly fratmen were placed under the Immigration's Lookout Bulletin Order of the Bureau of Immigration last Wednesday, September 20, upon the order of Aguirre.
The BI records, however, showed Ralph Trangia, the son of Antonio Trangia, owner of the vehicle that was used to bring Castillo's body to the Chinese General Hospital, had left the country for Taiwan last September 19.
Aguirre ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to coordinate with the International police in locating Trangia. (SunStar Philippines)