THE family of Horacio “Atio” Castillo 3rd, the law freshman who died from injuries he sustained from a brutal hazing, vowed “to leave no stone unturned and resources untapped” to bring his killers to justice.
“We will not rest and will not stop, will leave no stone unturned and resources untapped, until Atio’s killers and everyone complicit in the hazing are brought to justice,” the Castillos said in a statement released on Tuesday, the first day of the civil law student’s wake at the Santuario de San Antonio in Makati City.
At the same time, the family also appealed to the administrators and faculty of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and to the Aegis Juris to help solve the crime committed against the 22-year-old although it held the fraternity accountable for his death.
“We urge the elders and young members of the Aegis Juris fraternity to bring the killers of Atio to justice. The Aegis Juris should not allow the acts of Atio’s killers to forever tarnish their reputation and define their character, lest they be deemed complicit in Atio’s murder.
“While the death of Atio is still under investigation, it is clear to us that Atio was killed by criminals from the Aegis Juris fraternity in a blatant way of hazing. We are outraged that barbaric and criminal acts continue to be performed in the false name of brotherhood,” the family said.
It appealed to the university “to ensure a thorough, impartial, and swift investigation into Atio’s murder” and called on Dean Nilo T. Divina of Civil Law “to exhibit heroic leadership and champion the rights of Atio, his fallen student regardless of his affiliation with his fraternity.”
The family also urged classmates, friends in media and the public “to provide any leads that will assist the investigation into Atio’s death.”
”We will be grateful for acts of moral courage and any information leading to the prompt identification, arrest and punishment of Atio’s killers,” the family said.
The family also expressed its appreciation “to the Philippine National Police, especially the kind officers and investigators from the Manila Police District for your invaluable assistance and look to you for continued support in our quest for the truth.”
“We appreciate you outpouring love, concern and support for Atio and his family. We hope you can keep Atio forever in your thoughts, hearts and prayers, ” the family said.
Castillo was found on Sunday in Manila by one John Paul Solano who also brought him to the Chinese General Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
An initial investigation by police showed that Solano was also a law student from UST and not a medical technologist of San Lazaro Hospital as he had identified himself to authorities. He is now the subject of a police search.
Prior to his death, Castillo informed his parents that he would undergo initiation to be conducted by the Aegis Juris fraternity. JOVILAND RITA