UST Faculty of Arts and Letters Regent Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P. on Friday urged the Thomasian community to pray for the conversion and surrender of the suspects in the killing of law freshman Horacio Castillo III in a Mass at the UST Central Seminary Chapel.
Aligan said the death of Castillo should remind Thomasians of the need to denounce the culture of violence and false brotherhood among fraternities, and to uphold the dignity of the human person.
“A Thomasian should do no harm to another Thomasian. Even the sin of a Thomasian will become a responsibility for all of us. [We] are praying for the conversion of those involved in this criminal activity. Let them fall to God’s justice,” Aligan said.
The Mass was attended by Castillo’s friends, law classmates and professors, as well as his former mentors in Arts and Letters, where he finished political science early this year.
In challenging the hazing suspects to surrender, Aligan said Thomasians are not cowards, and courage and repentance mark the Thomasian identity.
“Kaya nga siguro kung tunay na Tomasino, lumabas na tayo. Harapin natin kung ano ang ating ginawa at nagawa. I do believe na walang Tomasinong duwag,” he said in his homily.
Castillo was found dead last week after suffering severe injuries during the initiation rites of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.
Aligan challenged the Thomasian community to remember their core values of commitment, competence and compassion.
“If all of us have tried to be committed, competent and compassionate, then why did we allow this thing to happen to a fellow Thomasian? Why did we allow such brutality to cover with sins the Thomasian dignity we aspire?” he said.
Calling for an end to hazing in fraternities, Jasmin Labaco, vice president-internal of the Faculty of Civil Law Student Council, said violence is not the key to acceptance in a “brotherhood.”
“Sana siya na ang maging huling biktima ng hazing at matigil na ang sistema ng hazing. Hindi natin kailangan ng dahas para matanggap ka sa isang samahan. Naniniwala kami na sa isang kapatiran, kung mahal mo ang kapatid mo, tatanggapin mo siya,” she said.