Freshman UST law student dies of hazing

TWENTY-two year old University of Santo Tomas (UST) first year law student Horacio Tomas Castillo III died of heart attack due to the injuries he obtained after he allegedly underwent hazing, a police official said Monday.

Based on the initial autopsy report conducted by the Manila Police District (MPD) medico-legal team, it said Castillo sustained a severe hematoma in his two arms while he also had cigarette burns and drops of wax candles in different parts of the body.

MPD spokesperson Superintendent Edwin Margarejo said Castillo's arms could have been smashed hard by a solid object.

He said the injuries found in Castillo's body indicates that his death was due to hazing.

On Sunday, Castillo's body was found in a sidewalk along Balut in Tondo, Manila.

He was rushed to the Chinese General Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Carmina, Castillo's mother, said they dropped him off his school on Saturday for a class and he told them he will go back home the next day as he will undergo initiation right with his fraternity brothers.

She said they allowed their son to join the fraternity as he promised there will be no hazing and that initiation rights only include cleaning of the campus and following the command of their superiors.

The said fraternity, Aegis Juris, is allegedly recognized by the university's school of law.

Carmina said by Monday, they received a text message from an unknown person saying he brought Castillo at the Chinese General Hospital.

"I just want to know how he died. He died alone, without the family. He was suffering. Masakit 'yung mga tinamo niyang palo," said Carmina.

Meanwhile, the UST said they will also conduct their own investigation in the incident.

The university has condemned the killing.

"We condemn in no uncertain terms hazing, in any form or manner. Violence has no place in this academic institution particularly in the UST that values and promotes charity and compassion," it said in a statement.

"We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the perpetrators be meted the appropriate sanctions and brought to justice," it added. (SunStar Philippines)
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