MEMBERS of the Aegis Juris who attempted to cover-up the death of hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo 3rd may be charged with accessory to the crime, Sen. Francis Escudero said on Thursday.
Escudero said the Manila Police District (MPD) has filed murder charges against the fratmen allegedly involved in the death of Castillo.
He was referring to the Aegis Juris members, most of whom were lawyers, identified in a chat group that discussed ways on how to evade the investigation.
“So, they are also liable as accessory,” Escudero said in a media forum. He said that the Anti-Hazing Act was a special law, which has a provision stating that those who tried to obstruct justice may be charged in court.
“The senior brods who helped conceal (the hazing) are liable as accessory,” said Escudero, a lawyer by profession.
Senior Supt. Joel Napoleon Coronel, MPD chief, said the chat room was discovered with the help of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cyber Crime Group, which “provided technical assistance for the exploitation of information on social media accounts of the suspects involved in the death Castillo.”
“Based on the exchange of communication from these fraternity members, it would appear that the tendency of the fraternity to conceal or obstruct justice was very evident. They would like to evade, avoid at all cost investigation and prosecution of this case,” Coronel said.
Identified in the chat group were: lawyers Marvi Abo, Cecilio Jimeno, Alston Kevin Anarna, Ferdinand Rogelio, Edzel Bert Canlas, Cesar Ocampo Ona, Gaile Dante Acuzar Caraan 3rd, Henry Pablo Jr., Michael Vito, Cesar Monga dela Fuente, Nino Cervanes, Manuel Angelo Ventura 3rd, and Atty. Chet Villaroman; and law students’ Bryan Bangui, Arvin Balag, Jose Miguel Salamat, Ronald Cheng, and Milfen Alvarado.