MANILA - The Manila Police District (MPD) on Thursday said it may complete its investigation into the death of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio Castillo III next week, citing "solid leads" to those responsible for the hazing death.
"We have strong and solid leads and evidence pointing to the culpabilities and liabilities of the suspects," said MPD District Director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel.
Coronel told DZMM radio Thursday that investigators are closely working with lawyers of the Castillo family.
"Hopefully, by next week, mabuo namin 'yung cases: complete identification of the suspects involved, the place where the initiation was conducted and also the possible cover-up of certain alumni in the investigation of this case," he said.
Castillo, 22, died of "massive injuries" after initiation rites of the UST-based Aegis Jvris fraternity late Saturday. His parents learned of his death before dawn Monday after his body was brought to the Chinese General Hospital in Manila.
Initial reports said his body was found on a sidewalk in Balut, Tondo by one John Paul Solano, who then rushed him to the hospital.
It turned out that Solano is also a member of the same fraternity. He is now among primary suspects in the slay.
Based on information received by police, there were three neophytes reported to have been inducted into the fraternity, but only Castillo was subjected to initiation rites.
"Sa information namin, si Atio Castillo ay nahuli sa dalawang kasama niya. Hinabol po siya sa initiation rites nitong nakaraang Linggo," disclosed Castillo.
Police already know where the deadly initiation rites were held but did not reveal it yet.
"We intend to inspect, through a court order, the place, together with members of our SOCO (Scene of the Crime Operatives) team para ma-document and ma-verify 'yung place of initiation. I cannot reveal the exact address. We're just waiting for the court order to allow us," he said.
The Department of Justice on Wednesday placed 16 Aegis Jvris members on the immigration lookout bulletin.
But one of the primary suspects in Castillo's death, Ralph Trangia, has apparently fled the country.
The vehicle used to bring Castillo to the hospital was registered under the name of Trangia's father.
"The vehicle is registered to Mr. Antonio Trangia in Bulacan. Pinuntahan natin doon, but the vehicle was not seen in the area so apparently it is being hidden somewhere else," Coronel said.