MANILA- (3RD UPDATE) One of the primary suspects in the fatal hazing of University of Santo Tomas student Horacio Castillo III has surrendered, ahead of a Senate inquiry scheduled Monday.
John Paul Solano, a member of the Aegis Jvris fraternity, was met by UST Civil Law dean Nilo Divina, Lacson, and police on Friday past 2 p.m. at the office of Sen. Panfilo Lacson in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Divina facilitated the surrender of Solano, who was wearing a black shirt, jacket, and cap when he submitted himself to authorities.
Speaking to reporters following his surrender, Solano admitted to giving a false statement to police earlier and confirmed his membership to the fraternity. He, however, denied participation in the hazing of Castillo.
"No, I wasn’t there (during the hazing)," he said.
"My participation was to give medical assistance...I resuscitated Atio," he added, recalling that Castillo appeared "half dead" when he arrived.
Manila Police District director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said Solano will be placed under police custody for the meantime for investigation.
"It’s good for him (Solano) that he came here to submit himself. At present, our investigation shows that he is principally involved in the killing," Coronel said.
Solano also denied reports that he was the recruiter of Castillo to the fraternity, saying he filed a leave of absence from school this year to work as a medical technologist.
Solano was earlier reported to be the "good samaritan" who found the bloodied body of Castillo on the wee hours of Sunday and rushed the latter to the Chinese General Hospital.
He was later on tagged as a primary suspect in the death of Castillo after police supposedly found inconsistencies in his testimony.
In a statement Friday night, the Castillo family said they welcome Solano's surrender and hope that he would identify those involved in the fatal hazing of their loved one.
"We are pleased that Solano has surrendered. We hope that he will identify all the assailants involved in Atio's murder," the family said.
But they said that until Solano is cleared of the accusations against him, the family still views his statements with suspicion as he had lied in the past.
"Until he comes clean, identifies all the Aegis Jvris perpetrators in the fatal hazing, and executes a truthful affidavit detailing all their participation, Solano, to our mind, should still be considered one of the principals in Atio's murder," they said.
On Thursday, the Bureau of Immigration said another suspect, Ralph Trangia, already left for Taiwan last Tuesday. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office clarified Friday that Trangia only passed through Taiwan and took a transit flight to Chicago.
Both Solano and Trangia have been placed by the Department of Justice under an immigration lookout bulletin.
Trangia's father Antonio, also a member of the Aegis Jvris fraternity, is the registered owner of the red Mitsubishi Strada with (ZTV 539) allegedly used to bring Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital.
The 22-year-old Castillo told his parents that he would attend the welcoming rites of the Aegis Jvris fraternity at the UST campus late Saturday but never made it home.
He died of massive injuries consistent with hazing.