A UST Faculty of Civil Law freshman was found dead Monday morning after suffering injuries during alleged fraternity hazing rites, Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina confirmed to the Varsitarian.
The parents of Horacio Tomas Castillo III, in separate radio and television interviews, said their son had sought permission to join the “welcome” rites for new members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity at UST on Saturday, after week-long initiation activities.
But Castillo, a 22-year-old UST political science graduate, did not go home by lunchtime the following day, Sunday.
Castillo’s mother Carmina told dzBB they went to UST and the Aegis Juris office outside the campus on Laon Laan Street on Sunday night, but did not find their son.
Later, she got a text message from an anonymous sender that her son was brought to Chinese General Hospital.
Police said the body was dumped on a sidewalk in Tondo’s Balut area early on Sunday, wrapped in a blanket.
From the hospital, Castillo’s body was brought to Archangel Funeral Parlor.
Horacio Jr., Castillo’s father, told ABS-CBN News his son’s body was bloated and bore bruises and burns from candle wax and cigarettes.
Carmina told dzBB she was informed by police scene of the crime operatives her son died as a result of cardiac arrest because of severe trauma.
She said she wants justice for her son but that won’t bring back his life.
“He died alone…He was only 22,” she said.
“He wanted to be a senator. He wanted to be president. They took that away from him.”
Aegis Juris is a law school-based fraternity founded in 1979.
The Office for Student Affairs has clarified that the fraternity is still in the process of seeking its annual accreditation.
According to the official website of the Faculty of Civil Law, Aegis Juris adheres to “five deeply rooted principles of academic excellence, equality, godliness, integrity and service.”
Divina, an alumnus of the fraternity, has yet to give an official statement as of posting time.
On social media, Thomasians called for justice for Castillo’s death. Some users noted that members of Aegis Juris have deactivated their social media accounts.
Civil Law Student Council President Jonathan Santos condemned the “inhumane” act done to his friend.
“I hope the people who did this to him can sleep at night and return to their senses,” Santos told the Varsitarian in an interview.
A Mass for Castillo will be offered today at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church at 5 p.m., to be followed by a prayer vigil to be led by the Civil Law Student Council at 6 p.m. at the Quadricentennial Park to call for justice for the slain law freshman.
Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law defines hazing as an initiation rite that subjects new recruits in a fraternity to “menial, silly, foolish and other similar tasks or activities or otherwise subjecting him to physical or psychological suffering or injury.”
The law requires at least two representatives from the school or the organization to be present during the initiation to ensure that no physical harm of any kind will take place during the initiation.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to clarify that the Office for Student Affairs has yet to grant the annual accreditation of Aegis Juris Fraternity, and that the candle-lighting ceremony will be at 6 p.m. at the Quadricentennial Park instead of the Plaza Mayor.