UST student was sole hazing target: Zubiri

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2017 05:16 PM | Updated as of Sep 20 2017 05:47 PM

MANILA - Law freshman Horacio Castillo III was the lone recruit subjected to hazing on the night he was killed allegedly by members of a fraternity based at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said Wednesday.

Senators are set to investigate Castillo's death, which has reignited calls to strengthen a 22-year-old law that only "regulates" hazing.

"Ang balita nga sa 'min, si Mr. Atio Castillo was the only one that was being hazed at that time. Wala na siguro silang ibang pinagtripan kundi siya lamang," said Zubiri, a longtime classmate of the victim's father. 

(We received reports that Mr. Atio Castillo's was the only one that was being hazed at that time. It appeared they didn't target anyone but him.)

Zubiri said Castillo's sister works as an intern in his office.

The senator delivered a privilege speech Thursday naming at least 15 members of the Aegis Jvris Fraternity believed to be present during the hazing late Saturday. 

Zubiri called on UST officials, particularly law school dean Nilo Divina, to ensure there would be no "cover-up."

"All eyes are on the dean," the senator told reporters. "We will see now how he will move to be able to resolve this case. It's an illegal act. It's a crime. It's should not be covered up," he said. 

Castillo's bloodied and bruised body was found on a sidewalk in Manila Sunday, hours after he left home for welcoming rites at the fraternity. 

He was brought to the Chinese General Hospital but was declared dead upon arrival. 

John Paul Solano, the one first reported to have found Castillo's body and then brought him to the hospital, is now a primary suspect in the hazing death.