MANILA - (UPDATE) The parents of hazing victim Horacio "Atio" Castillo III lauded the Supreme Court's swift action on the disbarment complaint against lawyers tagged in killing of the law freshman.
In a resolution, the high court en banc yesterday decided to treat a letter sent by Senator Panfilo Lacson as a disbarment complaint against the lawyers, including UST law dean Nilo Divina.
"We are very glad with the decision of our high court. We thank them for this swift action on this disbarment complaint," Carminia Castillo, Atio's mother, said in a text message Wednesday.
The Supreme Court has ordered the respondents to send their comments within 10 days from notice.
"One being a lawyer is a very dignified profession, the mistake and evils of the few should not pollute the majority pool who are doing their best in defending JUSTICE," added Carminia.
A Senate panel, in a committee report following a series of hearings on Castillo's death, has urged the high court to disbar Divina, a member of fraternity Aegis Jvris.
The committee also recommended the filing of charges against Aegis Jvris lawyers who figured in a Facebook conversation attempting to cover-up the circumstances surrounding Atio's death.
Lacson, in his January letter, had sent the Supreme Court documents in support of the disciplinary proceedings.
In a statement, Divina said it was "unfair and unjust" to be dragged into the controversy, noting that the evidence in the Senate showed he had no prior knowledge of the initiation rites nor was he a party to any cover-up.
"I welcome this opportunity from the Supreme Court to respond to the points raised in the report. I have always maintained that I did not do anything illegal or unethical," he said in a statement.
Aside from Divina, the following lawyers are also subjects of complaint:
- Marvi Abo
- Alston Kevin Anarma
- Edzel Bert Canlas
- Cecilio Jimeno
- Ferdinand Rogelio
- Eric Fuentes
- Cesar Ocampo Ona
- Gaile Dante Caraan
- Gem Dimaculangan
- Alfonso Verzosa
- Henry Pablo Jr.
- Jet Villaroman
- Cesar Dela Fuente
- Niño Kjell Servañez
- Manuel Angelo Ventura III
- Michael Vito
- Arthur Capili
- Irvin Joseph Fabella
- Edwin Uy
- Allan Christopher Agati