THE 10 accused in the hazing death of law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo 3rd, all members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, “voluntarily” surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday.
“They surrendered ‘to ensure their safety.’ They were accompanied by their parents and lawyers,” NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin told reporters in a news conference.
The NBI said its agents picked up the law fraternity members at a location in Manila, after getting a call from a “common friend” who said the hazing suspects wanted to turn in themselves.
The suspects will be detained at the NBI headquarters in Manila, pending a court order.
“We want people to know that no incident occurred during the surrender. We will wait for the commitment order of the court,” Lavin said.
On Thursday, presiding Judge Alfredo Ampuan of Branch 40 of the Manila Regional Trial Court hazing of Castillo, a University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student.
Ampuan ordered the arrest of Mhin Wei Chan, Jose Miguel Salamat, John Robin Ramos, Marcelino Bagtang Jr., Arvin Balag, Ralph Trangia, Axel Munro Hipe, Oliver Onofre, Joshua Joriel Macabali and Hans Matthew Rodrigo.
On March 8, the Department of Justice indicted the 10 fraternity members for violating the Anti-Hazing law, a non-bailable offense punishable with life imprisonment.
The indictment was based on the testimony of Aegis Juris member Mark Anthony Ventura, a state witness.
The Manila Police District recommended the filing of murder, anti-hazing and robbery complaints against the Aegis Juris members in September.
In February, UST kicked out eight civil law students involved in the hazing death on September 17 last year at the fraternity library outside UST.
In his affidavit, Ventura claimed that 10 Aegis Juris men joined the initiation rites while others served as lookouts outside the fraternity library. Fraternity members had been drinking as loud music blared during the incident, he said.
According to him, fraternity members repeatedly punched Castillo’s arms until they swelled. They then hit his legs with a paddle.
It was during the hitting of the paddle when Castillo collapsed, according to Ventura.
Prosecutors cleared Jason Adolfo Robiños, Aeron Salientes, Ranie Rafael Santiago, Zimon Pedro, Alex Bose, Leo Lalusis, Lennert Bryan Galicia, Nathan Anarna, Chuck Siazar and Karl Matthew Villanueva, for lack of probable cause.
The Justice department also found no probable cause against UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina and Faculty Secretary Arthur Capili.
Divina was accused by the family of Atio Castillo of negligence, as he allegedly knew that the law student was killed before the family did, and before the Chinese General Hospital knew the identity of the person wheeled in to the hospital.