CIVIL Law Dean Nilo Divina refuted claims he was Aegis Juris Fraternity’s powerful and influential “Big Brother,” following the Nov. 6 Senate investigation on the death of law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.
Divina said he was not aware of the term “Big Brother” until the hazing probe. Divina is denying any responsibility on the hazing death, pointing out that the law fraternity was not a recognized student organization in UST.
“I categorically deny that I am the ‘Big Brother’ being referred to [in the Senate hearing]… I did not know that someone is being referred to as ‘Big Brother’ until this incident,” Divina told the Varsitarian in a text message on Tuesday.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said most senators believed Divina was the powerful fraternity “Big Brother” whose help was sought by the hazing suspects escape penalty.
The panel is investigating Castillo’s death as well as alleged cover-up attempts by frat members and alumni.
“Siya kasi yung pinaka-prominent na Aegis Juris member. He appears to be the most influential,” Lacson told reporters after the Senate hearing.
Lacson said they could not jump into conclusions after state witness Mark Ventura’s claim that lawyer Arnel Bernardo was the “Big Brother” mentioned in the chat group of frat members and alumni that was later leaked to social media.
Lawyer Eric Fuentes, alumnus of the fraternity, denied calling Divina “Big Brother,” which frat members claimed was a term for all elders and past leaders or “Grand Praefecti” of the Aegis Juris fraternity.
“We don’t call him big brother, your honor. We call him Dean Divina or Sir Divina… ‘Big Brother’ is a generic term that we give to all our GPs (Grand Praefectus) or elders,” Fuentes said in response to Sen. Grace Poe’s question during the hearing.
Fuentes mentioned the word ‘Big Brother’ in a Facebook chat group of frat members and alumni that was revealed during the second Senate hearing last Oct. 18.