‘First step to a perfect conviction’ — Atio’s parents on Solano conviction

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Carmina Castillo, mother of Atio, says the ruling on John Paul Solano's convictions is a "first step to a perfect conviction." (Photo by Kevin A. Alabaso/The Varsitarian)

THE PARENTS of hazing death victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III said Monday’s conviction of John Paul Solano for obstruction of justice would pave the way for a “perfect conviction” for other accused members of Aegis Juris fraternity.

The Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 14 found Solano “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” of providing false and misleading information to law enforcement and investigating agencies. However, the court acquitted Solano on charges of perjury.

“Talagang napapatunayan na they have the intention to obstruct, pagtakpan at i-conceal, so we are very happy with the conviction with the obstruction, ito ang first step to a perfect conviction,” Carmina Castilo, mother of Atio, told reporters on Monday.

Solano faces two to four years imprisonment.

He was initially named a witness in the case after he claimed that he found Atio’s body on a sidewalk in Tondo and brought it to Chinese General Hospital on Sept. 17, 2017.

He later on admitted that he went to the fraternity library on Laon Laan Street and performed CPR on Atio, after he was told in a phone call by a fraternity brother that a neophyte collapsed during the initiation rite.

Solano, a licensed medical technologist, earlier said that he did not take part in the hazing rites, claiming that his participation was to only provide medical assistance.

He was the first witness to surface, and tagged six other Aegis Juris members and associates involved in Atio’s death.

In March 2018, the Department of Justice charged Solano with obstruction of justice and perjury, while 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 were charged with violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.

A bail hearing against the other fratmen involved was set on Tuesday, June 17, at the Regional Trial Court Branch 20.

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