Murder raps filed vs fratmen over fatal hazing of UST law student

THE Manila Police District (MPD) on Monday filed murder, obstruction of justice, and robbery charges against John Paul Solano and members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity involved in the fatal hazing of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio Castillo III.

The charges were filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Solano, who turned himself into Senator Panfilo Lacson last Friday, was also charged with perjury for lying to the police after he brought Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital in Manila on September 17.

Castillo sustained fatal wounds during the initiation rites of the Aegis Juris Fraternity where Solano is also a member.

Solano denied responsibility for the death of Castillo and said he even tried to revive the "half-dead" Castillo when he saw him. He added he was not present during the fraternity's welcoming rites.

Other respondents in the murder, violation of Anti-Hazing Law, obstruction of justice, and robbery were Antonio Trangia, 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.

Antonio Trangia, the owner of the vehicle that was used to transport the body of Castillo to the hospital is the father of Ralph Trangia.

Antonio's wife, Rosemarie, is also facing obstruction of justice charge for accompanying her son to Chicago, USA last September 19, a day before the DOJ issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order against suspects over the killing of Castillo.

Several unidentified members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity and Regina Sorority who were present at the initiation rites were included in the charge sheet.

All the said respondents, except Solano, remain at large said the MPD.

'Inquest proceedings'

Solano underwent inquest proceedings on the charges on Monday.

However, Solano's legal counsel, Paterno Esmaquel, manifested his objection to the proceedings stressing that as his client was not arrested by the police for any crime.

The lawyer said inquest proceedings only apply to suspects apprehended without a warrant of arrest.

The lawyer filed during the hearing an omnibus motion seeking the release of Solano and the dismissal of the charges against him.

He also said there is no reason to further detain Solano at the MPD.

"Herein respondent was placed into the custody of the MPD by reason of his voluntary surrender...this being so, then the instant case against herein respondent resulting to the untimely death of Horacio is not and cannot be the proper subject of the inquest proceedings," the motion read.

"Herein respondent must be released immediately from the custody and detention of the MPD. Any further delay in his release will be a clear violation of the law..." it added.

The DOJ is expected to release a resolution on the motion Monday or Tuesday, said Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva. (SunStar Philippines)


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