THE key witness in the hazing death of a freshman law student at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) claimed on Monday that he constantly reminded the victim to hold on to his “purpose” in life so that he could hurdle the initiation rites.
“Lagi ko po ipinapapaala ang sinabi niya sa akin ‘pag nag-uusap kami. Ang gusto niya kasi ay purpose. (I always reminded him about what he had told me during our conversation. He wants purpose,” said Mark Anthony Ventura, a former member of the Aegis Juris, of Horacio Castillo 3rd.
“Every time na nagkakausap kami lagi niya sinasabi was ‘purpose.’ Parang hinahanap niya purpose sa buhay niya (Everytime we talk, he always talked about purpose. It seems that he was looking for some purpose in life),” said Ventura who testified for the first time at the resumption of the Senate investigation into the death of Castillo.
Ventura admitted that he was at the fraternity library on September 16 when the final initiation rites for the neophyte took place. Castillo died the next day.
Without going into some of the details of the initiation after the Department of Justice (DoJ) prevented him from divulging “confidential” portions of his testimony, Ventura said that Castillo, Atio to his family and Hor to his schoolmates, was still responsive after being subjected to blows on his arms.
Responding to Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian’s query on what made him say that Castillo was still “okey” at that point, Ventura said, “Sinasabi ko po sa kanya na kaya niya po ‘yung proseso ng gabing ‘yun (I was telling him that he can hurdle the process that night).” BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO