Civil Law dean rejects idea of stepping down amid Atio’s death probe

by Wynona Orlina

Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina dismissed the idea of taking a leave of absence despite the ongoing investigation on the death of freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III. Photo courtesy of The Philippine Star.

Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina dismissed the advice of Senator Grace Poe yesterday, to take a leave of absence as acting dean despite the ongoing investigation into the death of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.

“You waited how many hours; you waited until the next day even to tell the parents. That alone is for basic instinct of self-preservation and you are also the dean of UST (Civil Law),” Poe told Divina.

However, Divina rejected the idea of leaving his responsibility in the faculty.

“I thought about that very seriously and after deliberation and bringing it to my own prayers, I came to the conclusion that I cannot abandon my students, especially the barristers preparing for the examination, my 40 students and the rest of the studentry…the interest of the students is what is paramount,” Divina said.

Poe bargained that Divina can still continue lecturing, given that certain frat members might be scared if he steps down in power as dean of the Faculty of Civil Law.

“We have a very important criminal investigation that’s ongoing. I wouldn’t say you’re front and center, but definitely a figure…Giving it a few months is a sacrifice on your part,” Poe told the dean who is also a member of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

The dean affirmed that his law firm Divina Law may possibly represent the University if accused.

“I don’t think my dedication, my commitment to teaching and as an academician has been changed because of this…I don’t think it has a bearing on my competence or dedication as a dean, a professor and academician,” he added.

Horacio Jr. and Carmina Castillo, parents of Atio, filed murder and violation of Republic Act №8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law against Divina. The dean is also charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.

On the other hand, Arvin Balag, the reported president of Aegis Juris was cited in contempt yesterday after refusing to answer the questions linked to the hazing incident.