Humble kid with big dreams: Uncle regrets loss of 'Atio'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2017 06:05 PM | Updated as of Sep 24 2017 06:22 PM

MANILA - In a family of doctors, Horacio "Atio" Castillo III is the only one who dreamed of being a lawyer. In fact, his uncle Gerry said Atio wanted to become the chief justice of the Supreme Court. 

But these dreams are no more after the 22-year-old University of Santo Tomas law student died of hazing by members of the Aegis Jvris fraternity. 

"He has a joke that he is the black sheep of the family. Why? Because we're a family of doctors and he will only be a lawyer," the elder Castillo told reporters Sunday. 

Dr. Castillo said it hurt him a lot to lose Atio because the kid was his first nephew and godson. His nephew also lived in his house when he started law school so he knows the kid studies hard.

Atio is also very humble despite having a privileged background, he added, explaining that the 22-year-old is a descendant of the national hero Jose Rizal.

"When he was studying in UST, his driver will drop him off. He would always ask his driver that he would be dropped off very far so he'd walk. So the people will not find out that he's being brought by a driver," he shared. 

Dr. Castillo recalled one instance when they were having breakfast and Atio asked him about fraternities. He told his nephew to not join these groups as he only needs to study hard to finish school.

"All these fraternities forced him into it. He was so innocent that he didn't know that there was such thing as an initiation rites. What they did in UST, they were following him. Para bang 'join ka, join ka,' binubuyo hanggang sa 'sige na, whatever,'" he said.

The grieving uncle condemned hazing, saying there should be no hurting in the name of brotherhood. He said he is okay with fraternities as long as there is no hazing being done. 

"The problem with fraternities is they become so cliquish. Sometimes the student they want to be cliquish, na parang 'I want to belong, they want to belong'... Naiinggit," he added.

Autopsy shows the 22-year-old law student died of massive injury from hazing. He sustained hematoma on both shoulders. Atio's dad also saw some some cigarette burn marks and drops of candle wax on the victim's body.

One of the three suspects in the hazing of Atio, John Paul Solano, already surrendered to the authorities to clear his name. Another suspect, Antonio Trangia, already sent surrender feelers.

Trangia's son, Ralph, was also named a primary suspect in the death of Castillo, but has flown to Chicago.