DOJ orders release of hazing suspect Solano

MANILA (Updated) -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday ordered the release John Paul Solano, one of the main suspects in the killing of University of Santo Tomas law student Horacio Castillo III.

In a resolution released Wednesday, the DOJ said the inquest proceedings conducted by the DOJ last Monday was found to be illegal as Solano surrendered and has not been a subject of a warrantless arrest.

Solano surrendered to Senator Panfilo Lacson last Friday before he was turned over to the Manila Police District for custody.

Prosecutor George Catalan Jr. said the DOJ will proceed with the preliminary investigation of the complaints filed against Solano and other members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity for murder, obstruction of justice, and robbery scheduled for October 4 and 9.

Solano will also be probed for obstruction of justice and perjury.

Also named respondents in the cases filed by the MPD are Aegis Juris Fraternity members Ralph Trangia, Arvin Balag, Mhin Wei Chan, Ranie Rafael Santiago, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Jason Rodolfo Robiños, Danielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo, Karl Mathew Villanueva, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Axel Munro Hipe, Mark Anthony Ventura, Aeron Salientes, Marcelino Bagtang, Zimon Padro and Jose Miguel Salamat.

Trangia's father, Antonio, is also a respondent in the case, while his mother, Rosemarie, is facing charges for obstruction of justice.

The Bureau of Immigration said Trangia accompanied by his mother had left for Taiwan on September 19, a day before the DOJ issued a lookout bulletin against members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

The lookout bulletin covered 20 members of Aegis Juris Fraternity, including Solano who claimed he was not in attendance during the welcoming rites when Castillo was killed by his fraternity brothers.

Solano earlier claimed to be a bystander who brought the body of Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital on September 17. The police later found out that he is also a member of the fraternity.

In a Senate hearing, Solano said he was ordered by members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity to bring the body of Castillo to the hospital and lie to authorities on where the body was found.

Solano's release order came shortly after Castillo was laid to rest amid calls for justice at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City. (SunStar Philippines)
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