Criminal charges await 8 expelled UST students, Palace says

MALACAÑANG on Monday, February 19, welcomed the decision of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) to expel eight law students found to have been involved in the fatal hazing of freshman Horacio Castillo III in September 2017.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the UST's move only proved its zero tolerance for any form of violence.

"We think it's the right step forward. Expelling them sends the message that our schools will not tolerate violence on our campuses," Roque told a press conference.

Roque said the students' expulsion was only the "beginning" of bringing suspects on Castillo's death to justice.

"That's only the beginning. There will have to be criminal prosecution for violation of anti-hazing law," he said.

Castillo, a 22-year-old first year law student at UST, was found dead on a street in Tondo, Manila in the wee hours of September 17, 2017.

His body was discovered a day after he allegedly joined the initiation rites of UST's Aegis Juris Fraternity.

The medico-legal report by the Manila Police District showed that Castillo died of severe blunt traumatic injuries.

The Varsitarian, UST's official student publication, disclosed Sunday, February 18, that a seven-man panel from the university, which was tasked to hear Castillo's case, found eight law students "guilty of violating the Code of Conduct and Discipline."

The committee thus found a probable cause to impose the "supreme penalty of expulsion" on the eight law students. The names of the expelled students were withheld. (SunStar Philippines)
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