Hazing victim laid to rest but family, friends prepare for legal battle

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A FRESHMAN law student who died from hazing was finally laid to rest, along with his dreams of becoming a lawyer and eventually Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

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Some 300 family and friends, including a dog, came to bury Horacio “Atio” Castillo 3rd at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City on Wednesday afternoon in a tearful goodbye to a “good son”, a “good man” who loved helping others, who was “friendly” and “very kind” and fond of cartoons.

In a farewell message, the older Castillo told his son not to worry and that his family was letting him go.

An Agustinian priest who led the prayers during the funeral read a short message the young Castillo himself wrote for the school year book in Colegio de San Agustin (CSA) where he graduated elementary and high school.

“Many mistake me as very naughty but I really love helping others,” said the priest reading from a piece of photocopied paper.

He described the former CSA student as a “cheerful student who loved sports, music, and very friendly.”

Castillo’s uncle, Dr. Gerardo Castillo addressed the Aegis Juris, the fraternity his nephew wanted to join, saying: “To Aegis Juris, you lost a good man.”

He said that the fraternity would die also because “no one will join you.”

He warned all those responsible that they “would have their day in court.”

Rosatio Guiang, who took care of Atio Castillo when he was three until five years old described her former ward to The Manila Times as “very kind, very silent, and very fond of cartoons.”

Atio’s dog “Lega”, whose video of him looking at his master inside the coffin went viral on social media, was also at the burial.

”Justice for Atio” was printed on shirts worn by friends and schoolmates who launched a fundraising campaign to raise at least P1 million to support a legal battle against the fraternity.

Castillo’s funeral took time because of a Mass at the Santuario de San Antonio Parish in Forbes Park in Makati City where his wake was held.

At the end of the ceremony, more than a hundred butterflies were released into air.

Castillo died from injuries he sustained during the intiation rites on Sept. 16.

Hazing suspect John Paul Solano, a medical technologist and a member of the fraternity, claimed initially that he found Castillo’s body in Tondo on Sept. 17 and rushed him to the Chinese General Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

Solano recanted his testimony after he surrendered voluntarily to Manila police to whom he admitted that the fraternity had called him to administer CPR to Castillo whom he described as “half-dead” at that time.

Solano said it was he who suggested that Castillo be brought to a hospital.

As of posting time, Solano is in the custody of Manila police who filed charges of murder, robbery, obstruction of justice and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law against him and 18 other frat members.

Ralph Trangia, one of the suspects, fled to the US.

 

 

 

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