THE Senate “declassified” on Wednesday the testimony of John Paul Solano in which he identified six Aegis Juris fratmen whom he saw at the group’s library where freshman law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo 3rd reportedly died from hazing.
Solano, a medical technologist, gave the testimony on September 25 in an executive session with senators so he could freely narrate the circumstances behind Castillo’s death. He said that he was innocent and merely gave Castillo first aid after he collapsed as a result of the injuries he sustained from the initiation rites.
The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which were jointly investigating the death of Castillo on Sept. 17, were compelled on Wednesday to make public Solano’s testimony after he appealed for more time to finalize his statement.
Based on his statement in the executive session, Solano identified the fratmen whom he saw at the Aegis Juris library as Zack Abulencia, Alvin Balag, Axel Munro Hipe, Oliver John Audrey “Ojay” Onofre, Dan Ragos, and Mark Anthony Ventura.
Hipe, Onofre, Ventura, and Balag refused to answer questions from the senators regarding their alleged participation in the hazing of Castillo as they repeatedly invoked their rights against self-incrimination.
Solano said that four of these six fratmen accompanied him to the Chinese General Hospital (CGH) where they rushed Castillo.
The Senate cited Balag in contempt after he evaded almost all the questions of the senators. Solano said that Balag was the GP (grand prefectus) or head of the fraternity. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO