AEGIS Juris master initiator Axel Munro Hipe led the initiation rites, while “grand praefectus” Arvin Balag dealt the final blow on hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, state witness Mark Ventura has revealed.
The former Aegis Juris secretary, who agreed to testify against his fraternity brothers on Wednesday, recalled the initiation rites on Sept. 17 that killed 22-year-old Atio.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II had quoted Ventura as saying the initiation lasted for four hours, from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., after which Atio fell unconscious.
Ventura revealed that the Civil Law freshman received four paddle strikes before he collapsed, Aguirre said. The fifth one, given by Balag, rendered the Aegis Juris neophyte unconscious.
“Noong third paddle against Atio, tinanong pa siya kung kaya pa niya, sumagot pa ata si Atio na kaya pa niya, but on the fourth paddle, hindi na niya kaya and he collapsed already,” Aguirre told reporters in a press briefing on Wednesday.
“[A]fter a few minutes, siguro nakita na nila na nagkakamalay si Atio, they struck him the fifth time with a paddle, fourth nag-collapse na, ‘yung fifth lalong nag-collapse,” he added.
Ventura said the fratmen dripped candle wax on Castillo to wake him up but the latter did not respond.
“Hindi na niya kaya and he collapsed already. Unintelligible na ang kaniyang response. Umuungol na lang siya,” Aguirre said, quoting from Ventura’s testimony.
Attempts to revive Atio were supposedly made by the Aegis Juris fratmen until John Paul Solano, a licensed medical technologist, arrived and brought the neophyte to the hospital, allegedly under the orders of the law fraternity leader, Balag.
At that time, Castillo still had pulse and was placed in a vehicle. He was taken out of the vehicle and brought back to the library to be revived.
“When they did not succeed, they board him on a pickup,” Aguirre added.
According to Ventura, more than a dozen members of Aegis Juris Fraternity participated in the initiation rites. Six fratmen used a videoke machine while drinking, to drown out the noise during the initiation rites.
In his six-page affidavit filed with the Department of Justice, Ventura said those present at the fraternity library during the hazing rites for Atio were the following: Balag, Ralph Trangia, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Mhin Wei Chan, Edril Pilapil, Danielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo, Karl Matthew Villanueva, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Axel Munro Hipe, Marcelino Bagtang, Zimon Pedro, Jose Miguel Salamat, Zach Abulencia, Daniel Ragos, Dave Felix, Sam Cagalingan, Alex Cairo, Luis Kapulong, Leo Lalusis, Kim Cyrill Roque, Alex Bose, Robin Ramos, Ged Villanueva and an unidentified female.
Hipe, Balag and Ventura were among the several suspects facing complaints of murder, robbery and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.