US Homeland Security offers aid in finding suspects in hazing case

THE United States (US) Department of Homeland Security has offered assistance in finding one of the primary suspects in the killing of University of Santo Tomas (UST) student Horacio "Atio" Castillo III.

This was revealed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said at a press conference on Friday, October 6.

Ralph Trangia and his father Antonio, both suspects in the fatal hazing of Castillo had left the country on September 19.

They first took a plane to Taiwan before taking a connecting flight on the same day to Chicago, USA.

Aguirre failed to divulge more details on the recent development and said it is now up for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to decide on whether to seek assistance from the US Homeland Security.

During the press conference, Aguirre also said that during the Castillo family's meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte last Wednesday, the uncle of the victim requested the cancellation of the passport of the Trangias.

In a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Aguirre said the President directed the DFA to heed the request of the bereaved family.

Aguirre, however, added that the process for cancellation of the passport will not be easy.

"Hindi basta-basta ganun kadali. Merong mga grounds, merong mga conditions na hinihingi ng DFA before it could cancel the passport," he added.

Ralph and Antonio were charged before the DOJ for murder, violation of the anti-hazing law and robbery, along with 17 others, including the primary suspect in the case, John Paul Solano.

His mother Rosemarie was likewise charged for obstruction of justice.

Antonio is the owner of the vehicle that was used to transfer the body of Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital after he passed out due to the hazing on September 16.

The two had left a day after the DOJ has issued an immigration lookout bulletin ordering the Bureau of Immigration to monitor their flight along with other members of Aegis Juris Fraternity. (SunStar Philippines)
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