'Cover up' revealed in Solano's testimony
MANILA - Fratman John Paul Solano, a suspect in the hazing slay of Horacio "Atio" Castillo III, has named several Aegis Jvris fraternity brothers with alleged links to the hazing rites that led to Castillo's death.
In his testimony, Solano, a medical technologist, confirmed that the hazing on Castillo happened at the Aegis Jvris library in Sampaloc near the University of Santo Tomas.
The fratman said he was repeatedly called by Oliver John "OJ" Onofre last September 17, Sunday morning, to go to the frat library because "someone collapsed."
Solano said he arrived at the frat library at around 8:10 a.m. and saw Castillo, whom his brods introduced as "Hor," already lying on the floor. He said he slapped Castillo several times but there was no response.
"Sabi ko, 'Hor, Hor, is that you?' Sabi ko, 'Hor, naririnig mo ba ako?' I was slapping him on the face. Tapos, tinitingnan ko iyong pupils niya, it's very dilated. Sabi ko, 'Walang response.' Nag-check ako ng pulse, wala," he said.
"Nag-check ako ulit, iyong pangalawa, sabi ko, 'Baka iyong pulse ko na iyong nararamdaman ko.' Kasi naii-stress na ako. So parang takot na rin po ako. Tsinek ko iyong respiratory, wala. Doon ko na nasabi na mag-a-administer ako ng CPR," he added.
In his testimony, Solano said Aegis Jvris president Arvin Balag told him to bring Atio to the Chinese General Hospital. He said he questioned the order because the UST hospital is just 10 minutes away from the frat library.
"Anong sasabihin ko," said Solano in his testimony, recalling a conversation with Balag, who he also accused of telling all the frat members involved to deactivate their Facebook accounts.
"Sabihin mo napulot mo sa Balut, Tondo," was allegedly Balag's response.
He said they used the vehicle of suspect Ralph Trangia to bring Castillo to the hospital. He said he did not see Trangia that day but Trangia's driver, identified as Romeo Laboga, drove them to the hospital.
Solano said Balag asked him to lie and tell the staff at the Chinese General Hospital that he found Castillo's body in Balut, Tondo. He was left by his brod at the hospital.
After this, Atio was declared dead.
Among the Aegis Jvris members mentioned by Solano were Mark Ventura, Axel Hipe, who along with Balag and Onofre invoked their right against self-incrimination during the Senate probe.
He also mentioned a certain Zach and Dan, who were not present at the Senate for the hearing.
'THREW AWAY PHONE, SLEPT ON STREETS'
In panic, the fratman said he just followed Balag and told the hospital staff and the responding police that he found Atio in Balut.
Solano said he left home fearing on what could happen to him and went into hiding in Tarlac City and eventually, Pangasinan.
Solano said he began hiding September 18, a day after the incident. He said he threw away his phone as a lot of people, some of whom he do not know, were calling him.
The fratman said he slept on streets as he moved from city to city.
"Moving lang po ako. Ayaw ko mag-stay sa iisang city kasi pag may nakakilala sa akin baka i-turn over ako," he said in his testimony.
Two days into hiding, Solano said his money was down to P700. He then bought a phone and a sim card, which he used to call his father, who in turn called the father of UST Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina.
"He contacted Tatay Divina, father of Dean, who then contacted Dean and then contacted some brods to help me," said Solano, who said Dean Divina encouraged him to tell the truth.
The testimony was first bared during an executive session after the first part of the probe into the hazing death of Atio. Solano vowed to make his testimony public when he files this as a counter-affidavit.
However, until Wednesday's hearing the Aegis Jvris fratman refused to release his testimony, saying it is "beyond his control" as the complainants are still planning to file supplemental affidavit in the case against him and other frat members.