Key witness stopped from giving Senate ‘confidential’ testimony on hazing death

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THE Department of Justice (DoJ) tried to stop a key witness from testifying on the hazing death of a freshman law student of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) at the resumption of the Senate investigation on Monday.

Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr. told the panel that Mark Ventura of the Aegis Juris “cannot testify this time because his testimony is confidential in nature.”

Catalan admitted later that Ventura was still considered a “respondent” since his application for the entry into the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DoJ) was being processed.

Following Catalan’s statement, Ventura declined to answer some questions from the senators such as the identities of the fratmen present during the initiation rites of Horacio Castillo 3rd on the night of September 16 that resulted in his death. “I will comply in the proper court,” he said.

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The Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, resumed its investigation on Castillo’s death with Ventura making his first appearance as a prospective state witness. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO

 

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