MANILA - A message thread of Aegis Jvris fraternity members showed their intent to cover up the death of Horacio Castillo III, a law freshman who died supposedly during initiation rites, a local police chief said Wednesday.
C/Supt. Joel Coronel, director of the Manila Police District, said the message thread was posted in the morning of September 17 when Castillo was confirmed dead.
"If you’re going to review each individual exchanges of communication among these Aegis Jvris fraternity members, it would appear that they intend to cover up the incident, contrary to their announcement made on September 19, that they are willing to face the investigation and support authorities in the conduct of the investigation," he told lawmakers.
"Majority of them said they will find ways and means to see that the evidence that will be gathered or recovered by the investigating authorities will no longer be available," he said.
Coronel said they received information about the chat messages in October, days after the fraternity said in a statement that the organization and its members will fully cooperate with the investigation of this case.
"In that Aegis Jvris fraternity statement, we were hoping that they will come out and cooperate with us...But in light of the discovery of these messages, it appears that from Sunday, September 17, the objective of the Aegis Jvris fraternity is to cover-up, to conceal, to avoid and evade the prosecution of this case," he said.
Castillo, 22, was supposed to join the Aegis Jvris fraternity but died due to massive injuries consistent with hazing, according to an autopsy report.
He was rushed to the Chinese General Hospital early morning of September 17, but was declared dead upon arrival.
The Senate is investigating the incident as Castillo's death revived calls for stronger legislation against violent initiation rites.