UST law freshman found dead after frat hazing

by Vince Ferreras

Photo grabbed from Horacio Castillo III’s Facebook account

A 22-year-old freshman student of the Faculty of Civil Law was found dead after undergoing hazing rites.

In separate radio and television interviews, the parents of Horacio Castillo III or “Atyo”, said their son asked for permission on Saturday to attend the welcoming rites for the new members of the Aegis Jvris Fraternity, a recognized fraternity in the faculty.

However, he did not return home the following day.

Carmina Castillo, Atyo’s mother, told dzBB in an interview that she received a text message informing that her son was brought to the Chinese General Hospital.

According to the police spot report on the incident, Castillo had hematoma or bruises on both upper arms. There were also several marks of candle wax drips all over his body.

Castillo’s body was found by a bystander in Balut, Tondo on Sunday.

When the parents arrived at the hospital, they were informed by the authorities that their son’s body was taken to the Archangel Funeral Homes.

In a report by GMA News TV’s News to Go, the medico-legal doctor of the Manila Police District concluded that Castillo died of massive heart attack possibly due to the injuries he suffered.

Horacio Jr., Castillo’s father, demanded justice for his son during a phone interview on ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda.

“Sana naman ma-konsensya sila. He was only 22 years old, he was robbed of his future. Sana lumabas na sila. Tell everything, tell the truth.”

Castillo finished Political Science at the Faculty of Arts and Letters last year.

No place for violence

Following the incident, the University released an official statement strongly condemning hazing and other forms of violence inside the campus, and described the incident as a “senseless act.”

“Violence has no place in an academic institution, particularly in the University of Santo Tomas that values and promotes charity and compassion,” the statement read. “We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the perpetrators be meted the appropriate sanctions and brought to justice.”

The University officials also assured that the ongoing investigation will “ferret out the truth, determine liability and institute the necessary legal actions.”

The Central Student Council also expressed their sympathy and called for a thorough investigation on the incident.

“The UST CSC demands for a rigorous investigation on the people and the fraternity involved in the death of Horacio Tomas Castillo III. May he get the justice he deserves. Fraternities deal with brotherhood, but violence should not be its currency,” the council said in a statement.

Furthermore, the Civil Law Student Council demanded that parties involved in Castillo’s death be held accountable.

“The Civil Law Student Council will not allow this horrendous act to pass without having those accountable face the consequences of their actions,” their statement read.

The council also called for an end to hazing, describing it as a “barbaric tradition.”

Meanwhile, Nilo Divina, Civil Law dean, ordered a preventive suspension of the Aegis Jvris to “ensure unobstructed investigation.”

Members and officers of the fraternity will not be allowed to enter the University premises or attend their classes until further orders.

Divina is also a member of the fraternity.

Aegis Jvris was also involved in a brawl with another fraternity, Gamma Delta Epsilon, last year (READ: Civil Law starts investigation on frat brawl) wherein the two fraternities were both suspended.

They were also involved in a standoff incident in 2014 which led to the expulsion of one of the students involved.

According to the Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law, there should be at least two representative from the school or organization present in the initiation rites to ensure no violence will take place.

TomasinoWeb tried to reach the Castillo family but they still have yet to respond as of press time.