UST admin dismisses claims it was indifferent to Atio’s death

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THE UNIVERSITY dismissed on Friday claims it was indifferent toward the death of hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, UST sought to correct what it claimed was an “inaccurate portrayal” of its efforts to help the investigation into the death of Castillo, a UST law freshman.

It cited a committee formed by UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. to conduct an internal investigation. It did not disclose the names of the committee members, however.

“[O]n first day the that news broke out, the University manifested its grief, offered prayers, and conveyed its profound sympathy to the family of Horacio,” the statement read.

In a Senate press briefing on Oct. 19, Sen. Francis Escudero hit the University administration for its silence on Castillo’s death.

“Mula nang nangyari [‘yung pagkamatay ni Castillo], wala pa akong narinig na opisyal ng UST na nagsalita sa kasong ito,” Escudero said.

UST pointed out that it had coordinated with the Manila Police District and National Bureau of Investigation, “which led to the identification of the members of the fraternity and possible perpetrators of the crime.”

UST said it also allowed representatives of the Legal Education Board and the Commission on Human Rights to monitor the proceedings of its investigation despite limitations under the Education Act and the Data Privacy Act.

Dagohoy on Wednesday vowed to improve the rules of the University on fraternities and sororities.

“Our first concern is actually to complete the investigation so we would be able to impose the just and reasonable penalties according to our student handbook. And after that, we would actually…look into the improvement of the policies and procedures of the University regarding these fraternities and sororities. I think it is high time for us to look into the rules [of the University],” Dagohoy told the Varsitarian.

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