HAZING suspect John Paul Solano on Wednesday identified six fraternity brothers who were at the Aegis Juris Fraternity library in Manila on the day that he found the "unconscious" University of Santo Tomas freshman law student Horacio "Atio" Castillo III.
Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs approved on Wednesday the motion of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri to release the statement made by Solano during a Senate executive session on September 25 after he failed to provide the panel, as promised, his sworn affidavit where he will narrate the circumstances that took place on September 17.
"Do you want to disrespect our committee? Let me put on record the many instances where you testified right there that during the preliminary investigation of this incident…you said you will release your statement on what had transpired that morning when Atio Castillo died. Now I ask you again, ginagago mo ba ang committee na 'to?" Zubiri said.
Solano answered no and explained that he was supposed to file his counter-affidavit on October 4 but the complainants asked the panel of prosecutors to reschedule the hearing so they could submit a supplemental affidavit.
"What happened was beyond my control because the complainant manifested that they will submit supplemental affidavit for the hearing to be moved. So that time, I did not file my counter affidavit due to the fact that they would add a supplemental complaint. Give me sometime after October 24. I'll furnish you a copy," he added.
Zubiri refused to believe Solano saying he was just attempting to delay the process for the sake of his fraternity brothers.
In his statement during the Senate executive session, Solano said on the morning of September 17, Oliver John Onofre called him and asked him to proceed to the Aegis Juris Fraternity library on Laong Laan Street in Manila but he refused since he has work by 7 a.m. at his father's clinic.
He said Onofre called him back after 10 to 15 minutes and told him someone collapsed and that they need assistance.
Solano said he then immediately went to their frat office on board his motorcycle and when he arrived there, he found Castillo lying.
He said he was not able to recognize Castillo that time.
Solano said he tried to resuscitate Castillo but there was no response.
He said other frat brothers who were present at the fraternity library were Axel Hipe, Arvin Banag, Onofre and Mark Ventura.
Solano denied seeing Jason Robinos at the frat library and said he was also not sure if Ralph Trangia was also present on that day since there were two rooms inside the library.
"Opo. Iyong kasama ko lang po kasi iyong apat na iyon tapos tumawag lang po ng dalawang bagong brod. So ang alam ko lang po sakanila is names nila it is Zack and Dan," he said when asked if he did not saw Trangia in the library.
[Yes. The four I mentioned were the only people I am with then they called two more new brods. I know only their first names which are Zack and Dan.]
During the hearing, Lacson named Zack and Dan as Zach Abulencia and Daniel Ragos.
Solano said that after he failed to revive Castillo, they all decided to bring him to the hospital. He said it was Balag who insisted to bring Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital (CGH).
He said with the help of Balag and Trangia's driver, Romeo Laboga, they carried Castillo to the Trangia's vehicle and brought him to the CGH. He followed the group to the hospital on board his motorcycle.
Solano said it was Balag who requested him to bring Castillo inside the hospital and to tell hospital staff that they found him in Balut Tondo.
He said he stuck to that version of the story when he issued a statement to the police.
"Sobrang taranta na po ako. Sabi ni Arvin, ikaw maiwan. Sabi ko, bakit ako labas nga ko dito eh. Sabi nya, alangan namang kami. Out of gusto ko rin tulungan 'yung bata nagpaiwan na rin ako," he said.
[I panicked. Arvin said, 'we will leave you here.' And I said, 'Why me? I am out of here'. He said 'who do you want to be left here? Us?' Since I also wanted to help Castillo, I stayed.]
"Minura ko talaga sila [Balag]. Ako nagbuhat at saka dalawang nurse. Iniwan na nila ako mag-isa. So, sabi ko I am on my own," he added.
[I cursed them. I carried Castillo with the help of two nurses. They left me alone so I thought I am on my own.]
When he left the hospital, Solano said he boarded a bus going to Tarlac as he tried to hide.
He said he even slept in waiting sheds, chairs in front of schools but when he realized he has nothing else to do, he decided to surrender. (SunStar Philippines)