UST, fraternity, dean should be held accountable for death of ‘Atio’, says lawyer

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THE University of Santo Tomas, the Aegis Juris fraternity, and the Civil Law dean should all be held accountable for the recent death of a hazing victim, a lawyer said.

Attorney Lorna Kapunan said Thursday that the Aegis Juris, University of Santo Tomas and the dean should be held accountable to the death of hazing victim Horacio Castillo 3rd.

“I don’t think it should happen in schools especially in a very Catholic should like the University of Santo Tomas. This is certainly a responsibility of the fraternity, of the school and of the dean. They should be held accountable,” said Lorna Kapunan in an interview on Thursday night when she visited the wake of Horacio Castillo 3rd in Makati.

Kapunan also said that fraternities and schools did not take the enforcement of the anti-hazing law seriously and that the crime of hazing has become a continuing trend or statistic.

”Meron tayong batas yung anti-hazing law, I don’t think fraternities and school authorities take it seriously. What happened to the past victims of hazing of UP, UE, Ateneo; they are now a statistic. And we hope this death of Horacio, coming as it is in a time when life has become insignificant, where slowly we lose our children to violence outside of the communities through senseless killings,” said Kapunan.

Kapunan believed that no one should be exempted from the law and it should be implemented regardless of who should be held accountable.|

“I’m sure that nobody had hoped that this would happen but the law is the law. It is time that nobody should be exempted from the law. Horacio should not be another statistic. He should not be another forgotten soul. There is a law and it should be implemented. Let everybody respect the law,” she said.

Kapunan, a member of Ina Foundation, which “supports parents who have lost their children,” said: “It’s not in the ordinary course of the universe the child should never die ahead of a parent, especially in a senseless death like this.”

Aside from Kapunan, President Rodrigo Duterte’s Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo also visited the wake of Castillo.

“It can’t be done by any civilized organization. We are so against it,” he said.

Panelo said when he saw Castillo, he remembered his son who was hospitalized after his initiation to a fraternity years ago.

“It’s a personal thing. When I saw the victim I remember my son who joined fraternity. Ganun na ganun ang nakita ko (It’s exactly what I saw). Pinulot ko yung anak ko sa hospital e (I picked up my son in the hospital). Di ko alam na pumasok (I didn’t know that he joined). It is so uncivilized it has to stop,” he said.

On Wednesday, Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, an alumnus of Aegis Juris, warned investigators that there were influential members of Aegis Juris in the government.

He said that the present criminal justice system was corrupted by the influence of different fraternities.

Castillo was declared dead on arrival at the Chinese General Hospital where he was brought on Sept. 17 by alleged fraternity members John Paul Solano and Ralph Trangia.

Solano has since gone missing while Trangia left country on Sept. 19, a day before an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order was issued on fraternity officials and members, including Trangia. JOVILAND RITA

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