MANILA- Crying for justice, the family of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman killed in a hazing incident over the weekend has taken the school to task in holding his killers accountable, pinning the blame on "criminals" from the Aegis Juris fraternity for his slay.
In a statement Tuesday, the family of Horacio Castillo III said they
"will not rest and will not stop" until the 22-year-old's killers are held liable.
“We, the family of Horacio Topacio Castillo III decry the senseless murder of our Atio. He was our most precious and cherished son, brother, nephew, cousin, and grandson...We grieve and despair at the life he was not able to live, and the cruel and inhumane way by which it was cut short,” the family said.
“While the death of Atio is still under investigation, it is clear to us that Atio was killed by criminals from the Aegis Juris fraternity in a blatant act of hazing. We are outraged that barbaric and criminal acts continue to be performed in the false name of brotherhood,” they said.
Castillo's bloodied body covered in linen was found on a sidewalk in Balut, Tondo on Sunday, hours after he left home for fraternity welcome rites on campus late Saturday.
He was rushed to the Chinese General Hospital but was declared dead upon arrival. His parents learned of his death before dawn on Monday.
In their statement, the family called on school officials to ensure a swift and impartial probe of the student’s death.
“We plead with the administrators of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and the administrators of the UST Faculty of Civil Law to ensure a thorough, impartial, and swift investigation into Atio's murder,” they said.
The Castillo family also called upon members of the Aegis Juris fraternity, including UST Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, to bring the killers to justice.
“We call on Dean Nilo T. Divina to exhibit heroic leadership and champion the rights of Atio, his fallen student, regardless of his affiliation with this fraternity. We urge the elders and young members of the Aegis Juris fraternity to bring the killers of Atio to justice,” they said.
“The Aegis Juris fraternity should not allow the acts of Atio's killers to forever tarnish their reputation and define their character, lest they be deemed complicit in Atio's murder,” they added.
The Department of Justice earlier ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to probe Castillo's death.
UST meanwhile said it has launched a separate investigation into the incident and has suspended all members of the Aegis Juris fraternity.
On Tuesday morning, Castillion's remains were brought to the Sanctuario De San Antonio Parish in Forbes Park, Makati City for the wake.