MANILA, Philippines — Witnesses to the death of Horacio Castillo III, the freshman law student who succumbed to injuries he suffered during hazing, have been offered protection by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
“I ask them to come out and tell the truth and we will protect them” by placing them under the Witness Protection Program, Aguirre said in a statement Friday.
Castillo, a student at the University of Sto. Tomas, was declared dead on arrival Sunday morning at the Chinese General Hospital where he had been brought by what authorities say were members of the Aegis Juris fraternity, which had recruited him.
“If they (witnesses) want to tell the truth or clear their names they can come to my office and we will place them under the WPP,” Aguirre said. “They can trust us, they have nothing to fear from us.”
At the same time, he said, “they should fear more the ones hiding them or the ones advising them not to come out. They can be dangerous people with hidden agenda.”
The DOJ also released a “Horacio hotline,” with the number 0995-442-9241.