MANILA - Prosecutors on Friday admitted the sworn statement of Aegis Jvris fraternity member Marc Anthony Ventura over the fatal hazing of law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.
Ventura appeared at Friday's hearing at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reaffirm his 6-page sworn statement.
He submitted the affidavit on Oct. 24 last year to the DOJ's Witness Protection Program (WPP) but was just recently transmitted to the investigating panel.
The fraternity member's affidavit narrated how members of Aegis Jvris allegedly took turns in beating up Castillo on Sept. 17, 2017 during initiation at the fraternity library in Sampaloc, Manila.
The document was received by Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva and Associate Prosecution Attorney II Wendel Bendoval. This even while other respondents had objected to the reopening of the earlier terminated probe to accommodate Ventura's affidavit.
Ventura is also a respondent in complaints for murder, violation of the Anti-Hazing Law, robbery, obstruction of justice, and perjury charges filed against several Aegis Jvris members over Castillo's fatal hazing.
The rest of the respondents were given up to Jan. 22 to respond to Ventura’s testimony. A clarificatory hearing will also be held, the last before the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution.
A University of Santo Tomas student, the 22-year-old Castillo was declared dead upon arrival at the Chinese General Hospital on Sept. 17, 2017 after allegedly going through fatal hazing rites in the hands of Aegis Jvris fraternity members.
There are close to 40 respondents in the consolidated complaints filed by Castillo’s parents and the Manila Police District.