MANILA - At least 21 members of the Aegis Jvris fraternity apparently agreed in a meeting to "cover up" the fatal hazing of University of Santo Tomas law freshman Horacio Castillo III, the Manila Police District (MPD) chief said Wednesday.
The meeting occurred at a hotel in Quezon City on the afternoon of Sept. 17, just hours after the 22-year-old neophyte died after suffering severe injuries in an apparent hazing, MPD Director Supt. Joel Coronel said at the continuation of the Senate inquiry into the incident.
Castillo's parents found his body at a morgue in Manila on Sept. 18 after receiving an anonymous text message. They have filed criminal charges against several Aegis Jvris fraternity members for their son's death, which has triggered legislative inquiries aimed at improving the anti-hazing law.
Until summoned to the Senate, none of the fraternity members present at the Sept. 17 meeting made any effort to cooperate with police, said Coronel.
"Only at this very date were we able to see the people involved in this hazing incident," the official said.
"To our mind, it appears that the agreement then made by those who met at Novotel was to cover up and to obstruct justice."
The MPD has identified 12 Aegis Jvris members present in the meeting, based on CCTV footage from the hotel, said Coronel.
Fraternity member Juan Miguel Salamat admitted that he attended the meeting, but declined to name other Aegis Jvris members captured in the CCTV clip.
He cited the cases of perjury and obstruction of justice pending against him and invoked his right against self-incrimination.
Watch a live stream of the hearing here.