UST law dean charged with murder

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Criminal charges were filed on Monday against University of Santo Tomas (UST) Dean of College of Civil Law Nilo Divina for the death of Horacio “Atio” Tomas Castillo 3rd.

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Castillo died in hazing rites allegedly conducted by the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

MORE CHARGES Horacio Castillo Jr. and his wife Carmina sign their supplemental complaint impleading UST law dean Nilo Divina as one of the respondents in the death of their son, Horacio 3rd. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

Divina was named as respondent in the supplemental complaint filed by Castillo’s parents Horacio 2nd and Carmina before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Divina was charged with murder, violating Republic Act 2049 or the Anti-Hazing Law and four counts of perjury.
Lorna Kapunan, lawyer for the Castillos, said school authorities must be held liable for the hazing incident that killed Castillo.

Kapunan said on the basis of the Senate inquiry into Castillo’s death, Divina had knowledge of the hazing “even before everyone else knew.”

“Meron kaming nakitang text message na ang sabi ni Atio na nandoon sa law office sa may Petron sa may Buendia. Ang pinakasikat na law office doon ay Divina Law sa Pacific Star. So it seems na malamang Divina law pinuntahan niya. Ibig sabihin alam ng mga brods nila sa Divina law na may neophyte (We saw a text message saying that Atio was in a law office near Petro in Buendia. The only big law firm there is Divina Law at the Pacific Star. So it means that their fraternity brothers knew that there was a neophyte),” Kapunan said.

Also included in the charge sheet were Aegis Trustee Arthur Capili and Vicente Garcia, owner of the building where Atio’s alleged hazing took place, as well as Aegis Foundation officials William S. Merginie, Cezar N. Tirol, Oscar T. Ce, Alexander J. Flores, Alvin S. Dysangco, Emmanuel Y. Velasco, Henry C. Pablo, Gabrial T. Robeniol, Michael Joseph G. Fernandez, Allan Christopher S. Agati, Paulino L. Yusi, Arnel Bernardo and Edwin C. Uy.

Several other people have been charged including John Paul Solano; Ralph Trangia, Trangia’s mother Rosemarie, Arvin Balag, Mhin Wei Chan, Marc Anthony Ventura, Axel Munro Hipe, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Joshua Joriel Macabali,, Jason Adolfo Robinos, Lennert Bryan Galicia, Nathan Anarna, Robin Ramos, Leo Lalusis, Jose Miguel Salamat, Ranie Santiago, Karl Matthew Villanueva, Marcelino Bactang, and Chuck Salazar.

New witness

Meanwhile, a man who claimed to have seen Castillo being taken to the hospital surfaced on Monday at the Manila Police District.

The witness said he saw Atio being carried into a red vehicle.

“I was turning to Laong-Laan when I noticed three individuals coming from Aegis Juris Law Resources Center carrying a body wrapped in white linen and placed it inside the red Strada,” the witness told investigators.

The witness asked not to be named.

WITH JAIME R. PILAPIL

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