Castillos laud DOJ indictment of Aegis Juris fratmen

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THE MOTHER of slain UST law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III said she was happy with the indictment of 10 Aegis Juris Fraternity members for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.

In a statement, Carmina Castillo said the decision showed that the fraternity had been “practicing a culture of death.”

“They made a mockery of our legal system. We would like to reiterate that no body is above the law,” Castillo said in a text message to the Varsitarian.

Castillo said they would continue to “fight for justice,” noting that a number of Aegis Juris members were not yet indicted.

“Those others who were named but not included will eventually fall. We know that they are guilty… We will make sure that all those involved will eventually be put behind bars,” Carmina said.

Gerardo Castillo, Atio’s uncle, lauded the prosecutors’ decision, saying it was “the first step” toward achieving justice for Atio.

“We are delighted with the result and actions of the Department of Justice. This is the start of the family of getting justice for the untimely demise of Atio,” Gerardo told the Varsitarian.

Tata Castillo, Atio’s aunt, said the family expected the process to take a long time.

“I am sure the journey to justice will still be long and tortuous, strewn with many painful moments for my family , but the tremendous outpouring of love and support that we have received from friends and well-wishers motivates us to keep striving for a just closure not only for Atio , but also for the prevention of future victims of hazing,” Tata said.

In a resolution released on March 8, the DOJ formally charged Aegis Juris fratmen Arvin Balag, Ralph Trangia, Oliver John Onofre, Mhin Wei Chan, Danielle Hans Rodrigo, Joshua Macabali, Axel Hipe, Marcelino Bagtang, Jose Miguel Salamat and Robin Ramos over Atio’s death in September 2017.

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

The DOJ recommended no bail for the 10 Aegis Juris fratmen. Another suspect, John Paul Solano, was charged with perjury, which is bailable.

Prosecutors cleared Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina and Faculty Secretary Arthur Capili of any liability for the hazing death for insufficiency of evidence.

Fraternity member Mark Anthony Ventura, who applied to join the Witness Protection Program, was not charged.

The Aegis Juris Foundation Inc. and its trustees were also cleared for lack of probable cause.

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