Atio laid to rest
THE DEAN of the UST law college, Nilo Divina, has assured senators he would “facilitate” the surrender of Aegis Juris Fraternity members involved in the hazing death of law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo 3rd, who was laid to rest on Wednesday.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said Divina gave the assurance Monday after a Senate inquiry into Castillo’s death.
“After the hearing, I approached Dean Divina. I told him, ‘Dean, let me repeat what I told you earlier. This will define you not as a lawyer because I know you are a brilliant lawyer, but this will define you as a human being and as a father,’” the senator said.
“I reiterated that when I saw him again. I said: ‘Please, help the family. Huwag mo pagtakpan ito (Don’t cover this up). This is under your watch. It should be on your record,” Zubiri said.
“His answer to me was, ‘No. No. We will facilitate the surrender of these individuals.’ He seems to be very assuring and sincere in wanting to clear the name of the frat.”
Zubiri also said, citing one of the founders of Aegis Juris Fraternity, that members of the fraternity and sister organization Regina Sorority wanted the matter resolved immediately.
“Atty. Paterno Esmaquel yesterday said there are many frat members who have expressed their sentiments regarding the need for the members involved in this case to surrender,” he said.
Esmaquel is the lawyer of John Paul Solano, a medical technologist and one of the main suspects in the case who claims he was not present during the hazing rites and was only summoned by fraternity members to help revive Castillo.
Castillo, 22, was laid to rest on Wednesday afternoon at Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City after a funeral Mass at the Santuario de San Antonio in Makati City.
At 5:30 p.m., Atio was brought to his final resting place as his parents, Horacio Jr. and Carmina, appealed for justice for their son.
Friends and schoolmates of Atio launched a fund-raising campaign to raise at least P1 million to support the legal battle against the Aegis Juris fraternity members.
Information on local and international bank accounts were posted on Facebook, said Atio’s uncle Gerardo Castillo and godfather David Amor.
“This is a long legal battle. We are facing a big law firm. This fund-raising was not suggested by the family but initiated by the San Agustin batch mates,” said Amor, referring to Colegio San Agustin where Atio finished grade school and high school.
An Augustinian priest led the prayers. He read a short message Atio himself wrote for the school year book. “Many mistake me [for]a very naughty [boy]but I really love helping others,” said the priest.
‘Your fraternity will also die’
Gerardo called on UST law dean Nilo Divina to tell the truth and surrender all members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity who had a hand in the fatal hazing.
“To Aegis Juris, you lost a good man. Your fraternity will die also because no one will join you. All of you who were responsible will have your day in court,” Gerardo said.
Rosatio Guiang, Atio’s governess when he was three to five years old, said: “He was very kind, very silent, and very fond of cartoons.”
More than 300 family members, relatives, schoolmates, and friends attended the funeral.
Atio’s dog “Lega” stayed beside his master up to the very end.
More than a hundred butterflies were released to the air, a sign that Atio has gone to his creator.
with JAIME R. PILAPIL