Senator tells hazing victim’s parents to complain before the Vatican

Photo by Maria Charisse Ann G. Refuerzo

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri has called on the parents of UST law freshman and hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III to file a complaint against the University before the Vatican amid UST’s alleged “silence” on the issue.

“As a matter of fact I suggested to the family of the Castillos, to take it to the Vatican, lodge a complaint with the Vatican directly,” Zubiri told reporters at Kapihan sa Manila Bay on Wednesday.

UST was made a Pontifical university by Pope Leo XIII in 1902, which simply means it is allowed to grant ecclesiastical or Vatican-approved degrees in philosophy, theology and canon law.

“And being a Pontifical school, under the realm of the Vatican, they are also subject to investigative procedures of the Vatican,” Zubiri claimed.

Carmina, Atio’s mother, said UST’s silence over her son’s death was “deafening.”

“It’s very disappointing, the silence is deafening,” Carmina said in a phone interview with

“The problem is not UST itself but the people who are running it,” she added.

The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on Jan. 24 recommended UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina’s disbarment along with 19 other lawyers of Aegis Juris, the law-school based fraternity responsible for the death of 22-year-old Atio.

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

The University previously refuted claims of indifference in a statement last October 2017, saying it had formed a committee to conduct an internal investigation.

In its statement, UST said 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.”

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

Last October of 2017, UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. vowed to improve the rules of the University regarding fraternities and sororities.

READ: Admit to your fault and let justice to be served, UST Rector tells Aegis Juris fratmen


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