THE PARENTS of law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III on Monday accused Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina and Faculty Secretary Arthur Capili of being complicit in the fraternity hazing rites that led to their son’s death.
A supplementary affidavit filed by the Horacio Jr. and Carmina Castillo before the Department of Justice on Oct. 9 included Divina and Capili in the hazing, murder, perjury and obstruction of justice charges earlier filed against members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.
Lino Kapunan, one of the lawyers of the Castillo family, said other University officials were not included in the Castillos’ complaints.
“So far, we’ve [only] included [Divina and Capili] because of what they manifested during the Senate hearing, but against the school, no,” Kapunan told the Varsitarian.
During the Senate inquiry last Sept. 25, Divina, Capili and Asst. Prof. Irvin Fabella, who all claimed to be “inactive” members of the fraternity, admitted that they found out about Castillo’s death from hazing at around noon on Sept. 17 , Sunday.
Castillo’s parents said they only learned that their son was brought to the Chinese General Hospital in Manila on Sept. 18, through a text message from an anonymous sender.
Section 4 of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995 states that school authorities, including faculty members who have actual knowledge but failed to take any action to prevent hazing, shall be punished as accomplices.
“We found it strange that [Atio’s parents] were not contacted [by Dean Divina who admitted] he knew that someone died and that it was a neophyte—and turned out to be Atio Castillo,” Kapunan told reporters.
Divina said during the Senate probe that he was unable to tell the parents because he did not have the full name of Atio, and that University offices were closed on a Sunday.
Two supplementary affidavits were filed by the Castillos. The first one accused 24 respondents of violating Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code (perjury) and Presidential Decree 1829 (obstruction of justice). The other accused more than 30 respondents of violating Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995 and Article 248 of Revised Penal Code (murder).
Aside from Divina and Capili, those charged were members and trustees of Aegis Juris Foundation, as well as the owner of the building of the fraternity library where the hazing rites were allegedly conducted.
One of the persons accused, Emmanuel Velasco, however, died five years ago. Lorna Kapunan, lead counsel of the Castillos, apologized for the error and blamed the Aegis Juris Foundation for not updating its documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
‘A visit to DivinaLaw’
Castillo’s parents were informed that their son paid a “courtesy call” on Divina and Capili at the DivinaLaw office on Gil Puyat Avenue (formerly Buendia) in Makati as part of the initiation rites of the fraternity, lawyer Lino Kapunan said.
According to the Castillos, Divina and Capili received Atio in their office. Kapunan claimed both knew Atio was to undergo initiation rites last Sept. 12.
“Atio informed us that he would be freeing up his schedule [from] Sept. 11 to 15 for the initiation rites. On Sept. 12, 2017 during this week of initiation/service, classes in the City of Manila were cancelled on account of adverse weather conditions,” one of the supplemental affidavits read.
“Knowing that classes that day were cancelled, Carmina (Castillo’s mother) sent a message to Atio [asking where he was]. Atio answered, ‘Here [in the] law firm.’ Inquiring further, Carmina [asked] Atio, ‘Is that [the one near the Petron] gas station along Buendia?’ To which, Atio replied in affirmative,” it added.
Castillo’s hazing “comprised not only the final rites which caused his death but also his week-long service.” With reports from Ma. Angela Christa Coloma