MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted 11 members of the Aegis Jvris fraternity over the fatal hazing of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio "Atio" Castillo III in September last year.
The following fraternity members were charged for violation of the anti-hazing law:
- Arvin Balag
- Ralph Trangia
- Oliver John Audrey Onofre
- Mhin Wei Chan
- Danielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo
- Joshua Joriel Macabali
- Axel Munrio Hipe
- Marcelino Bagtang
- Jose Miguel Salamat
- Robin Ramos
John Paul Solano, who brought Castillo's bloodied body to the hospital following the fatal hazing, was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.
He initially told police he just found Castillo's body on a Tondo sidewalk but later admitted his fraternity brothers called on him to help in the emergency when the neophyte lost consciousness during initiation rites on Sept. 17, 2017.
Only Solano can file for bail, the DOJ said.
Charges against UST Law Dean Nilo Divina, also an Aegis Jvris member, were meanwhile dropped.
The justice department also recommended another preliminary investigation against other members of the Aegis Jvris fraternity that were mentioned in member Marc Anthony Ventura’s sworn statement.
Ventura had testified on the initiation rites where Castillo died.
The family of the slain law student welcomed the DOJ resolution and vowed to continue fighting for justice until the case is fully resolved.
"Clearly, this shows this fraternity has been practicing a culture of death. They made a mockery of our legal system. We would like to reiterate that nobody is above the law. We will continue to fight for justice," the Castillo family said in a statement.
"We will make sure that all those involved would eventually be put behind bars. Those others who were named but not included will eventually fall. We know that they are guilty. Rest assured we will not stop until everybody involved in this crime get their fair share of justice," the family added.
Last month, UST expelled 8 law students tagged in Castillo's fatal hazing. The university, however, refused to identify the students.
Castillo's death put the spotlight on fraternities and their culture of hazing, prompting lawmakers to amend the existing anti-hazing law.
-- report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News