MANILA - The dean of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Faculty of Civil Law, who is a member of the fraternity involved in the hazing death of Horacio "Atio" Castillo III, vowed to help the 22-year-old's parents find justice.
Atty. Nilo Divina, who said he took a leave of absence from the Aegis Juris fraternity since assuming deanship of the law school 8 years ago, said he already spoke to Atio's parents who asked him for help, especially now that some of the suspects in the killing have yet to surface.
"I tried to get in touch with Atio's parents through a relative who was a former student. I spoke to his grieving mom, she told me to help them get justice for his son," the lawyer, who is also the founder of the Divina Law office, told a Senate probe Monday.
Divina said has also appealed to the members of the Aegis Juris members tagged in the brutal killing of the UST student to surface. He said one of those who heeded his call was John Paul Solano, the fratman who brought Atio to the hospital before the latter died.
Despite his connections with the fraternity, Divina assured the family that he will do everything in his capacity to bring those responsible in the death of Atio to justice, stressing his leave of absence is a sign that he will be unbiased in his duties as law school dean.
"During my stint, a significant number of frat members have been suspend preventively. Appropriate penalties have also been imposed to responsible members in 2 cases of fraternity-related violence. I have not hesitated to debar frat members regardless of affiliation," he said.
Divina stressed that the UST Faculty of Civil Law does not and will never tolerate violence among fraternities. He said Aegis Juris did not give the faculty notice about the fraternity activity involving Castillo, which was a violation of the school's policies.
Divina sees nothing wrong in joining fraternities as it fosters brotherhood and camaraderie among its members. But hazing, in any form or manner, he said, is not acceptable.