THE government will seek justice for hazing victim Horacio Castillo III, President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday.
Duterte met with the parents of the 22-year-old hazing victim, Horacio Jr. and Carmina, at Malacañang Palace Wednesday afternoon.
The President believed that Castillo, a freshman law student at University of Santo Tomas (UST), was killed because he was "helpless" when he joined the welcoming rites of Aegis Juris Fraternity.
"Everything went wrong. Let the chips fall where they may. That's it. You make your own history. You are bound by your mistake… Everybody has to answer [for their crime]," Duterte, a frat man himself, told Castillo's parents.
"He (Castillo) was helpless. It cannot be a suicide. The person had no choice... I think it's murder because he's helpless," he added.
Castillo, a neophyte of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, was reportedly killed after an initiation ceremony held on the morning of September 16.
He was rushed to Chinese General Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Results of an autopsy from Manila Police District medico-legal doctor indicated that Castillo died of massive heart attack possibly due injuries he sustained during the hazing rites.
The Department of Justice on Monday created a panel to investigate the criminal charges filed against 18 members of Aegis Juris Fraternity linked to Castillo's death, including John Paul Solano who was tagged as a primary suspect.
Solano and 17 others were charged before the DOJ for murder, violations of Anti-Hazing Law, perjury, obstruction of justice and robbery.
Under Anti-Hazing Law, individuals who will be found responsible for the death, rape, sodomy or mutilation of a person during hazing would face a penalty of up to 40 years in prison, with eligibility for possible pardon or parole after serving 30 years. (SunStar Philippines)