11 persons who took part in UST student's hazing identified

INVESTIGATORS have identified 11 persons who were allegedly present during the initiation rites of slain University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio Castillo III, the Manila Police District (MPD) director Chief Superintendent Joel Coronel said Friday.

Coronel said of the 11 people, eight were members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, while the three were their "sisters" from the Regina Juris Sorority. He said several John Does were also included.

He said they will submit to the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecution panel the report where the said persons were positively identified by the witnesses and by the evidence they obtained.

Coronel, however, refused to divulge the names of the said personalities pending the submission of the report to the investigating panel.

"Hinihiling ko sana ang pang-unawa, sana intindihin kami ng public. We are facing a law fraternity whose members are in different branches of government including executive and judiciary kaya ine-expect naming all our evidence, testimonies and recovered items will be questioned by them kaya ma-ingat kami sa kaso na ito kaya hindi kami makabigay ng info agad," he said.

[We are asking the public for patience and understanding. We are facing a law fraternity whose members are in different branches of government including that of the executive and judiciary that is why we are expecting that all our evidence, testimonies, and recovered items will be questioned by them that is why are really being careful in this case and we don’t easily divulge any information.]

Earlier, the Aegis Juris fraternity members including the John Paul Solano, the primary suspect in the killing of Castillo, urged the DOJ to exclude the pieces of evidence, which were gathered by the investigators inside the fraternity's library claiming that those were obtained illegally since they used a defective search warrant.

Among the evidence found in the Aegis Juris Fraternity library where the hazing allegedly took place which resulted in the killing of Castillo was done were several paddles and candles.

They also obtained DNA samples including that of Castillo's.

Castillo was declared dead on September 17, a day after he told his parents he will be attending the welcoming rights of the Aegis Juris fraternity, at the Chinese General Hospital.

Police medico-legal officer found severe hematoma and candle burns in Castillo’s body which he may have obtained from hazing.

Meantime, Coronel said they are still gathering more evidence that will support the charges of obstruction of justice against some members of the said fraternity particularly the participants of the online group chat where they apparently planned to cover-up the incident.

Coronel bared on Wednesday, during the resumption of Senate probe on Castillo's death, the screenshots of the social media group chat of the fraternity members after the death of Castillo.

He said the members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity was discussing in the group conversation how they are going to settle the incident in which among the suggestions were to offer settlement to Castillo's family, to pay the barangay officials for the deletion of the CCTV footage which may have captured the incident and to protect their brother involved in the hazing activity to avoid prosecution.

He said that what the fraternity leaders and members, particularly the lawyers did is a violation of the code of professional responsibility. (SunStar Philippines)
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