Lead suspect in hazing victim Castillo’s slay freed

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John Paul Solano. Photo by Maria Charisse Ann G. Refuerzo

THE LEAD suspect behind the death of UST Faculty of Civil Law freshman Horacio Castillo III was set free on Thursday, following an order from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

John Paul Solano, who is facing charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, murder and violation of Anti-Hazing Law, was released from detention as there was no warrant of arrest against him.

Solano surrendered last Sept. 22 to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, who led the Senate probe into Castillo’s case on Monday.

Solano’s lawyers opposed inquest proceedings as he was not subjected to a warrantless arrest.

Inquest proceedings are summary in nature and are held to determine whether a suspect arrested without a warrant should be kept in detention or set free.

The proper procedure is for prosecutors to hold a preliminary investigation so Solano could answer the charges against him.

The DOJ has set the preliminary investigation on Oct. 4 and 9 for the 19 suspects charged, including Solano.

Aeron Salientes and Jason Adolfo Robiños, two other members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity on the list of suspects, surrendered to authorities on Sept. 22 and 27, respectively, to clear their names.

Aside from Solano, Salientes and Robiños, facing complaints of murder, violation of the Anti-Hazing Law and robbery are Aegis Juris members Axel Munro Hipe, Arvin Balag, Mhin Wei Chan, Marc Anthony Ventura, Oliver John Onofre, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Ralph Trangia, Ranie Rafael Santiago, Danielle Hans Rodrigo, Carl Matthew Villanueva, Marcelino Bagtang, Zimon Padro, and Jose Miguel Salamat.

Antonio Trangia, father of Ralph Trangia and owner of the vehicle that brought Castillo’s body to Chinese General Hospital last Sept. 17, was also charged. His wife Rosemarie was charged with obstruction of justice for being an accomplice in the escape of her son to Chicago, via Taiwan, on Sept. 19.

Members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity and its sister organization Regina Legis et Juris Sorority were also charged.

Also on Thursday, Manila police searched the Aegis Juris office and library on Laon-Laan Street and gathered forensic evidence.

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