Senate wants UST law dean disbarred for ‘mockery of the legal profession’ in Atio’s death

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THE SENATE Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs has called for the disbarment of UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina and other alumni of Aegis Juris Fraternity over the hazing death of law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.

In a report, the panel, led by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, requested the Supreme Court to take immediate disciplinary action against Divina and Aegis Juris alumni, saying they were liable for “grossly immoral conduct,” lacked the “decency expected from lawyers” and made a “mockery of the legal profession.”

“With all due respect to the power of the Supreme Court to discipline members of the Philippine Bar, this Committee recommends the immediate institution of proper disciplinary or disbarment proceedings,” the report read.

The Senate did not buy Divina’s claim that he had been long inactive from the Aegis Juris after assuming the UST law deanship in 2009, as photos showed him attending the fraternity’s anniversaries, and his acts before and after Atio’s death.

The law dean’s refusal to step down or take a leave of absence might prevent student witnesses from surfacing “out of fear of jeopardizing their grades and ultimately their chances of graduating,” the report added.

“That is the least he can do to make up for the injustice done to the Castillo family. After all, his fraternity claims to subscribe to the principle: Do no injustice, suffer no injustice,” the report said.

Other lawyers who are alumni of Aegis Juris Fraternity include:

Marvi Abo
Alston Kevin Anarna
Edzel Bert Canlas
Cecilio Jimeno
Ferdinand Rogelio
Eric Fuentes
Cesar Ocampo Ona
Gaile Dante Acuzar Caraan
Henry Pablo Jr
Jet Dela Peña Villaroman
Cesar Dela Fuente
Niño Kjell Servañez
Manuel Angelo Ventura III
Michael Vito
Arthur Capili
Irvin Joseph Fabella
Edwin Uy
Allan Christopher Agati

In September of last year, Divina was also slapped with a disbarment case filed by Patricia Bautista, the estranged wife of former Commission on Elections chief Juan Andres Bautista, who was under investigation for hidden wealth.

The committee report said the University should permanently ban Aegis Juris Fraternity after the hazing incident that killed Atio in September.

It also slammed the University for its “failure to take proactive measures in response to the information readily available to them.”

The panel requested the Department of Justice to further probe Aegis Juris fratman and witness Marc Anthony Ventura.

In an affidavit, Ventura identified the Aegis Juris members who carried out the hazing rites that killed Atio.

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