The parents of slain UST law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III want UST officials, including Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, held liable for the death of the hazing victim.
Lorna Kapunan, counsel of Castillo’s parents, said criminal complaints would be filed against Divina and other University officials in addition to the cases against members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.
“Under the law, the University, the head of the college, and the head of the organization are liable. So all of them must be investigated,” Kapunan told the Varsitarian at the sidelines of the preliminary investigation on Castillo’s death at the Department of Justice on Wednesday.
The Anti-Hazing Law of 1995 states that faculty members who have knowledge of a hazing activity but fail to take any action to prevent it from occurring shall be punished as accomplices.
The 22-year-old Castillo died on Sept. 18 after going through hazing rites of Aegis Juris, a UST law fraternity, which counts Divina as one of its prominent alumni.
Sought for comment, Divina said Kapunan had a “personal agenda” against him.
“Our objective should be to find justice for Atio and find out the truth. Instead, the obvious objective is now to lay the blame on innocent people to further the lawyer’s personal agenda,” Divina told the Varsitarian.
Divina claimed Castillo’s family was being “manipulated” by Kapunan.
“It’s unfortunate that Atio’s family is being manipulated by their lawyer into doing something that is patently baseless,” Divina said.
Kapunan denied having a personal agenda in suing the Civil Law dean.
”[I] have no personal agenda. I do not know Dean Divina personally. We are just following the law. If he really is a dean, he should know the law,” Kapunan said.
“[The] dean should come forward and not be an obstructionist to justice [because] no one is above the law,” she added. With reports from Elmer B. Coldora and Arianne Aine D. Suarez
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was first published with the information that 18 other University officials will be charged by the Castillo family, when it meant only 18 other respondents. We have made changes on this page to correct our error.