MANILA, Philippines — Perjury charges will be filed by the police against the man who claimed he found Horacio Tomas Castillo III’s body dumped on a sidewalk in Manila and brought the University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student to Chinese General Hospital, where the latter was declared dead on arrival.
Manila Police District (MPD) spokesperson Chief Inspector Erwin Margarejo on Tuesday said John Paul Sarte Solano lied under oath because his statements about Castillo were disputed by barangay officials, who said that no body was found in the area where Solano claimed he saw the 22-year-old student wrapped in a thick white blanket.
“Dinispute na po ‘yan ng barangay officials ng 133. Kasi po no’ng ni-review natin ‘yong CCTV, ‘yong mga gano’ng oras po na sinasabi ni Mister John Paul Solano na nakita n’ya ‘yong bangkay ng ating biktima na si Mister Castillo III ay wala pong nangyaring gano’n sa CCTV,” said Margarejo during an interview with dzMM radio.
[Barangay officials of 133 already disputed that. Because when we reviewed the CCTV camera, that time when Mister John Paul Solano said he saw the remains of our victim, Mister Castillo III, didn’t happen based on the CCTV.]
According to Margarejo, Solano had claimed in his “voluntary” sworn affidavit that he had found Castillo at the corner of H. Lopez and Infanta streets in Barangay 133 in Balut, Tondo around 8 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 17.
“The video will always speak for itself. Kitang kita po natin na wala naman pong bangkay na napunta doon sa area na ‘yon o tinapon po [We clearly saw that there was no cadaver in the area or dumped there],” Margarejo said.
“Kaya ngayon po dinidispute na po ng barangay certification na in-issue ng 133 ‘yong kanyang in-execute na sworn statement under oath. Kaya we are preparing to file, initially, perjury charges against Mister John Paul Solano,” the police officer added.
Solano also said in his affidavit that he rode a motorcycle to buy cigarette at the corner of H. Lopez and Infanta streets where he saw Castillo’s body. He then claimed that he had flagged down a red Mitsubishi Strada pickup to help him bring Castillo to the hospital.
But according to Margarejo, there was no store selling tobacco products in the area where Solano was supposed to buy cigarette. “No’ng inimbestigahan nga po natin eh, wala po, kaya nga po vinalidate natin lahat ng information.”
Also, according to barangay officials, they didn’t see in the CCTV recordings a red Strada in the area at the time whan Solano said he signaled the vehicle to stop.
Solano didn’t say in his affidavit he’s a UST law student
Authorities were able to validate that Solano is a part-time medical technologist at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila and also a UST law student, according to Margarejo.
However, Margarejo said Solano did not mention in his affidavit that he was also studying law in UST. “He’s also a law student na hindi naman n’ya binanggit sa kanyang sworn statement.”
The MPD’s medico legal said Castillo died of a massive heart attack possibly because of the injuries he suffered from hazing.
“The victim suffered hematoma on both upper arms, while bruises and drips of candle were seen on the different parts of the body,” the MPD said, adding that Castillo was declared dead on arrival at the hospital at 9:21 a.m. on Sept. 17.
After his initiation rites, Castillo told his parents last Saturday that he would attend a welcome ceremony for new members of Aegis Juris Fraternity at the UST campus in Sampaloc, Manila but did not return home.
Is Solano a member of Aegis Juris Fraternity?
Margarejo said the police wanted to find out if Solano is a member of Aegis Juris.
“‘Yan po ang ating nire-record check sa ngayon. We are still waiting for the school authorities ng UST dahil gumagawa na po tayo ng mga corresponding request na ating kakailanganin, including ‘yong mga CCTV po sa UST,” he said.
[That’s what we are checking from the records right now. We are still waiting for UST authorities because we are already doing corresponding request for the evidence we will be needing, including the CCTV recordings in UST.]
“Kasi the last time po na mag-usap ‘yong mag-ina, ang huling text messages po nila kung sa UST ka ba mag-o-overnight. Ang sagot po ng ating victim na si Mister Castullo, yes,” the police officer added.
[Because the last time that Mister Castillo and his mother talked, she asked him via text message if he would spend the night in UST and he said yes.]
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