MANILA - Senior members of the Aegis Jvris fraternity are allegedly preventing their fraternity brothers present at the fatal initiation rites of Horacio Castillo III from speaking about the incident, according to information that has reached the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Friday said the information was relayed by someone who was allegedly recruited by the fraternity but chose not to join.
Castillo, a 22-year old law freshman at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), died due to injuries consistent with hazing.
Aguirre said the recruit came to see him and shared information from a fraternity member present during Castillo’s initiation rites. The same fraternity member is also coordinating with the DOJ through text messages, the justice chief said.
The source corroborated information that Castillo was the only neophyte during the rites.
“'Yun ang sabi sa kanya nung member na nakikipagtext sa kanya at sa amin… sinabi nila na porket nagsosolo lang, siya (Castillo) talaga na[pag]diskitahan," he said.
“'Yung walo (fratmen) daw parang kinukulong ng Aegis, hindi nila pinapakawalan at ayaw pagsalitain,” Aguirre said, as he stressed that the information has to be verified.
Aguirre called on members of the fraternity to come forward to clear their name, offering them protection under the DOJ's Witness Protection Program (WPP).
“'Yung iba na mayroong nalalaman… please come forward... para linisin po ninyo ang inyong pangalan, at kung kayo ang unang mabigyan ng protection o coverage ng WPP ay kayo ang bibigyan ng priority dahil hindi naman kailangan ng maraming testigo," he said.
“Kanina lang we released a press statement inviting all others who have knowledge of the killing of Horacio Castillo III ng Aegis fraternity to come out and tell us what they know and we’re willing to offer them the protection of the WPP,” he added.