MANILA police released on Thursday hazing suspect John Paul Solano who vowed to prove his innocence in the hazing death of a freshman law student of the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
“I will prove my innocence at the proper venue. I condole with the family of Atio,” Solano said, referring to Horacio “Atio” Castillo 3rd.
Solano was released at 12:20 p.m. on Thursday, a day after the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued the order.
Solano’s lawyers Niño Servañes and Edzel Bert Canlas signed the blotter at the Homicide Section of the Manila Police District (MPD) indicating that Solano was now in their custody.
He is expected to appear at the preliminary hearing of the DOJ’s prosecutorial office on October 4 and 9 with counter-affidavits on the charges that were filed against him and 18 other members of the Aegis Juris fraternity.
Police filed charges of murder, robbery, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Anti-Hazing Law against the 19 fraternity members.
It was Solano, Ralph Trangia and several unidentified fraternity members who brought Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival on Sept. 17.
Solano initially lied to police in his first affidavit where he claimed that he found Castillo in Tondo, Manila.
Witness’ accounts and a CCTV footage indicated that Castillo was not where Solano had claimed him to be, as police investigation revealed later that he was a member of the fraternity.
Solano surrendered to police on Sept. 22 and denied his involvement in the hazing. JAIME PILAPIL