Primary suspect in 'Atio' hazing released


Posted at Sep 28 2017 01:29 PM

MANILA - One of the primary suspects in the fatal hazing of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio Castillo III, was released from police custody on Thursday. 

Assisted by his lawyers, John Paul Solano, member of the Aegis Jvris fraternity, left the custody of the Manila Police District barely a day after Castillo was laid to rest.

This followed the Department of Justice (DOJ) order for Solano's release Wednesday, arguing that no arrest took place since Solano voluntarily surrendered last week.

He was detained for seven days. 

Edcel Canlas, one of Solano's lawyers, said his client was only released Thursday since they weren't able to get a copy of the release order soon after it was issued. 

In explaining the release order, the DOJ said that at the time police the police were looking for respondents, Solano was not yet considered a suspect but only a person of interest.

Solano is facing charges of murder, violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 8049 (Anti-Hazing Law), perjury, robbery, and obstruction of justice.

Also charged were 17 other fraternity members and several others yet to be identified. 

Solano was earlier identified as the "good samaritan" who found and brought "half-dead" Castillo to the hospital on Sept. 17, hours after the latter joined Aegis Jvris "welcoming rites." He later emerged as one of the primary suspects in the case.

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday said Solano had tagged at least 6 other members of the Aegis Jvris fraternity in Castillo's death during an executive session following a Senate hearing on the case Monday night.