The Manila Regional Trial Court on Thursday ordered the arrest of 10 members of the Aegis Juris fraternity implicated in the hazing death of University of Santo Tomas law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III in September last year.
Branch 40 Judge Alfredo Ampuan issued the order.
The Philippine Star listed the following as having been ordered arrested for violating the anti-hazing law:
Mhin Wei Chan
Jose Miguel Salamat
John Robin G. Ramos
Marcelino Bagtang Jr.
Arvin A. Balag
Axel Munro Hipe
Joshua Joriel Macabali
Hans Matthew Rodrigo
(Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/03/22/1799325/warrant-arrest-out-aegis-juris-members#HgDi6kiqO2PYlKEo.99.)
A Facebook chat among fraternity members and alumni was leaked during a Senate inquiry last year, uncovering their attempts to conceal the incident.
One of them had said the frat library, where the hazing rites were apparently carried out, should immediately be cleaned up before a search warrant could be obtained by Castillo’s parents.
The same frat man reminded them that the paddles – from which cops later lifted blood samples that were confirmed to be the victim’s – should be removed.
Castillo’s death prompted lawmakers to push for a ban on fraternity hazing, as well as the reform of the 1995 anti-hazing law.
Senator Win Gatchalian, in particular, cited Philippine National Police statistics that showed 117 reported hazing incidents involving 419 suspects from January 2002 to September 2017.
Only 15 of these suspects had been convicted.
Upon questioning by Senator Grace Poe, Manila Police District Director PSSupt. Joel Coronel revealed there were reports that fraternity members involved in Castillo’s death were coddled by senior members after the incident.
UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, meanwhile, said hazing was prohibited by the school, and acknowledged that Aegis Juris – of which he had been a part before taking a leave of absence when he became dean – violated Republic Act No. 8049, or “An Act Regulating Hazing and other forms of Initiation Rites in Fraternities, Sororities, and other Organizations and providing penalties thereof.”
At the time, Divina vowed, “I’ll make sure that the perpetrators are put to justice, even though they are my brads.”