Aegis Juris fratmen indicted in Atio hazing death; Divina cleared of charges

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File Photo | Aegis Juris members.

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DOJ) has indicted 10 Aegis Juris Fraternity members for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law, and cleared Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina on his alleged involvement in the hazing death of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III for “insufficiency of evidence.”

In a resolution released on Thursday, the DOJ said it would formally charge Aegis Juris fratmen Ralph Trangia, Oliver John Onofre, Mhin Wei Chan, Danielle Hans Rodrigo, Joshua Macabali, Axel Hipe, Marcelino Bagtang, Jose Miguel Salamat and Robin Ramos over the death of 22-year-old Atio in September 2017.

John Paul Solano, a licensed medical technologist who brought Atio to the Chinese General Hospital after the hazing rites of the Aegis Juris, was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. Solano was the first witness to surface and tagged six other Aegis Juris members and associates involved in Atio’s death.

Officers and members of a fraternity who participate in hazing rites, where a victim dies as a result, face life imprisonment under Section 4 of the Anti-Hazing Law.

Charges against Civil Law Faculty Secretary Arthur Capili and state witness Mark Anthony Ventura, who applied to join the Witness Protection Program, were also dismissed.

In a statement, Divina said he was “relieved” that his name was cleared.

“I am very happy and relieved to finally be cleared of any wrongdoing in the Atio Castillo hazing case. I have always maintained my full innocence throughout this unfortunate incident, and thankfully, this has now been established beyond question. As they say, the moral arc of the universe may be long but it bends towards justice,” Divina said.

“I share with [my colleagues and clients] this vindication against the attempt to tarnish my reputation that I have painstakingly built and safeguarded throughout the years,” he added.

Lawyer Estrella Elamparo, Divina’s legal counsel, said the resolution strengthened their belief in the justice system.

“[The decision] reinforces our faith in our justice system. It proves that one cannot right a wrong by doing another wrong,” Elamparo said in a text message to the Varsitarian.

The DOJ recommended no bail for the 10 Aegis Juris fratmen, while the charges against Solano are bailable.

Charges against the Aegis Juris Foundation Inc. and its trustees were also dismissed for “lack of probable cause.”

The resolution recommended that further investigation be conducted against other members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, namely:

Zach Abuluencia
Daniel Ragos
Dave Felix
Sam Cagalingan
Alex Cairo
Luis Capulong
Kim Roque
Ged Villanueva
Edric Pilapil
RR Magbuhos

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