DOJ orders release of Solano from detention

by Philip Jamilla

John Paul Solano, one of the primary suspects in the fatal hazing of Faculty of Civil Law freshman Horacio Castillo III, is brought by the police to the Department of Justice for inquest proceedings, Monday, Sept. 25. Photo courtesy of Julius Leonen of The Daily Tribune.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the release of John Paul Solano, one of the primary suspects in the death of Faculty of Civil Law freshman Horacio Castillo III.

Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr. confirmed the order earlier today, Sept. 27, saying that state prosecutors from the DOJ have issued the resolution to release Solano from detention.

However, Catalan clarified that Solano’s release will not mean the dismissal of the charges filed against him.

“Release of the respondent [Solano] would not mean that he already is off the hook,” Catalan said.

Charges filed against Solano include violation of the Anti-Hazing Law, murder, perjury, robbery and obstruction of justice.

Solano will also undergo preliminary investigation next week, Wednesday, Oct. 4. and on Oct. 9, Monday.

Catalan explained that the investigation would be conducted so that Solano “will have the opportunity or chance to file his answer.”

Nonetheless, he added that “ it would depend upon the panel whether or not probable cause exists.”

The release of Solano from detention at the Manila Police District (MPD) comes after his lawyer, Paterno Esmaquel questioned his client’s detention in an omnibus motion.

Solano voluntarily surrendered to Sen. Panfilo Lacson and the MPD last Friday, Sept. 22, after the DOJ offered protection to witnesses to Castillo’s death.

Solano, a member of Aegis Juris, also disclosed the names of at least six fraternity members involved in the law freshman’s death during a closed-door session last Monday, Sept. 25.

However, MPD Chief Superintendent Joel Coronel said that the MPD is seeking to file a motion for reconsideration to keep Solano under detention.

Coronel also hopes that after the preliminary investigation, the DOJ “will find probable cause to warrant the filing of information against him for the crimes for the very least, murder, robbery, violation of the Anti-Hazing Law, obstruction of justice and perjury.”

Solano is expected to be released from detention tomorrow morning, Sept. 28.