MANILA - John Paul Solano, a suspect in the death of Horacio Castillo III, apologized Friday to the law freshman's parents, saying he was also pained by Castillo's death.
"Sa parents po, again, I would apologize for their loss. Alam kong masakit. Sa akin din naman po masakit since I was the one na sinusubukan kong sagipin yung anak nila. Masakit din sa akin na sa akin pa, puwede namang sa iba," he told ANC's Headstart.
In his counter-affidavit, Solano, also a medical technologist, pointed out that a medico legal report showed that Castillo had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a condition that increases the risk of heart failure.
This, despite an autopsy report finding that Castillo, 22, died of massive injuries consistent with hazing when he went through Aegis Jvris fraternity initiation rites in September.
Horacio Castillo Jr., the victim's father, had refuted Solano's claims, saying "blunt trauma" caused his son's death.
“What led to my son’s death is because of blunt trauma, meaning, coming from hazing; that caused extreme pain and suffering to my son,” the elder Castillo said.
“He (Solano) is not a doctor, he’s a medical technologist. Get a cardiologist to explain [my son's heart condition]," he added.
In the interview, Solano said he drafted the counter-affidavit early on, when he was the only suspect in the death of Castillo, and it was meant only to save himself, not the members of the fraternity.
Addressing Castillo's parents, he said: "Ito po, wala akong malicious intent or anything na iniisip nila. In good faith kong ginawa ito, solely for myself only. Naipit po ako eh."
"Talagang ipit na ipit ako nung time na yun. Nakita niyong na-detain ako. In-inquest ako, nasira ang pangalan ko, I was kicked out of work. Wala na akong trabaho with this. Ang ginawa ko lang naman is tumulong at sumagip. Pinilit ko pong sagipin si Atio, yun lang po ang ginawa ko," he said.
"Ang consequence po ba nun ay ito, makasuhan ako? Matanggal ako sa trabaho? Masira ang buhay ko. Yun din ang masakit para sa akin," he added.
A University of Santo Tomas student, Castillo told his parents that he would be attending welcoming rites of the Aegis Jvris fraternity last Sept. 16 but never made it home.
He succumbed to heart attack due to "massive injuries" he sustained in initiation rites. It was Solano who rushed him to the hospital on the morning of Sept. 17, but was declared dead upon arrival.
Solano, who is facing charges of murder, robbery and violation of the anti-hazing law, had identified in a Senate executive session several fraternity brothers present at the initiation rites and how he was called to respond to a "half-dead" Castillo that Sunday morning.