AEGIS Juris fraternity members indicted in the hazing death of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III have filed motions for temporary release, citing the supposed risk of contracting Covid-19 in the congested Manila City Jail (MCJ).

“It will be the height of injustice if we stand by and wait for the Covid-19 to spread and infect hundreds or even thousands of inmates at MCJ,” frat member Mhin Wei Chan said in a motion before before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 20.

The motion cited the recommendation of the House Committee on Justice to release prisoners in highly congested jails.

Chan also said he had no history of escaping jail and that he was not a flight risk. He said he and his co-accused “voluntarily surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation immediately after the issuance of the warrant of arrest against them.”

Carmina Castillo, mother of Atio, said there was no need to release the inmates and that doing so could result in more harm than good.

“In our opinion, releasing of PDLs (persons deprived of liberties) is premature based on their grounds that it is an injustice for the inmates to remain in their cells while there is this threat of Covid-19,” Castillo told the Varsitarian.

“We believe the BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) is more than ready to address this situation. Many options and safetynets are in place to safeguard the needs of all persons affected,” she added.

The fratment were charged by the Department of Justice in March 2018 for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.

In December 2019, the MRTC denied the petition for bail of 10 Aegus Juris fratmen.

In June 2019, the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 14 found John Paul Solano, the registered medical technologist who brought Atio del Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital after the hazing rites, guilty of obstruction of justice.

Solano was found “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” of providing false and misleading information to law enforcement and investigating agencies. 


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