CONDEMNING hazing “in no uncertain terms,” the University has launched an official investigation into the alleged hazing rites by a recognized fraternity in the Faculty of Civil Law that resulted in the death of a Civil Law freshman.
“Violence has no place in an academic institution, particularly in the University of Santo Tomas that values and promotes charity and compassion. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the perpetrators [will] be meted with appropriate sanctions and brought to justice,” UST said in an official statement posted on its Facebook page.
UST said it condemns hazing “in no uncertain terms,” and offered its condolences to the family of Horacio Tomas Castillo III, whose body was found on a sidewalk in Tondo, Manila on Sunday.
“No words can describe our sadness for this unfortunate incident. We express our profound sympathy and offer our prayers to his family for their pain and anguish–a pain that we share seeing that the life of our very own student, with all of its aspirations and potentials, [was] taken away because of a senseless act,” the statement said.
“Investigation is on-going to ferret out the truth, determine liability and institute the necessary legal actions. We take this opportunity to reiterate the Christian values and ideals that hold us together and reject anything contrary to them,” the UST administration said.
The parents of Castillo, in separate radio and television interviews, said their son had sought permission to join the “welcome” rites for new members of Aegis Juris Fraternity on Saturday, after week-long initiation activities.
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.
On social media, Thomasians called for justice for Castillo’s death. Some users noted that members of Aegis Juris had deactivated their social media accounts.