MANILA- One of the primary suspects in the death of University of Santo Tomas student Horacio Castillo III has surfaced to deny involvement in the fatal hazing of the law freshman.
John Paul Solano, who surrendered to authorities on Friday, confirmed his membership in the Aegis Jvris fraternity but denied participation in Castillo's hazing.
"No, I wasn’t there (during the hazing)," he told reporters following his surrender.
A part-time medical technologist, Solano said he was contacted by other members of the fraternity who were already in "chaos" to provide first aid treatment to the badly-hurt Castillo.
"My participation was to give medical assistance...I resuscitated Atio," he said, recalling that Castillo appeared "half dead" when he arrived.
Castillo, who was a student of the UST Civil Law, on Saturday told his parents that he would be attending the welcome rites of the Aegis Jvris fraternity at the UST Campus but never made it home.
His bloodied body was later found by Solano who brought him to the Chinese General Hospital where he died. Solano has since been tagged as a primary suspect in the death of Castillo after police bared of his conflicting statements.
Solano said when he found Castillo, the latter was already unconscious. He said he performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Castillo and later brought the victim to the hospital where he died.
"When I can’t do anything else, I brought him to the hospital. I don’t know him personally. We only met just twice," he said.
'POPOY' THE RECRUITER?
Solano denied reports that he recruited Castillo to the fraternity, saying he filed a leave of absence from the UST Civil Law school this year to work as a medical technologist.
He however confirmed that he is the "Popoy" in the alleged online conversation of the Aegis Jvris fraternity members where the hazing of Castillo was discussed as a "major frat activity."
The conversation revealed that Castillo was the sole person to be initiated by the fraternity that night.
Solano also admitted to giving a false statement to the police earlier and said he would clarify on his written statement.
"I would like to apologize for giving a false statement to the family [of Castillo]," he said.
"I want to clear my name. I'm innocent," he added.
Solano will be placed under the custody of the Manila Police District for investigation.