Divina cleared, 11 indicted in Castillo hazing case

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UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina said that he did nothing wrong or illegal in relation to the death of a freshman law school student during the initiation rites of his Aegis Juris fraternity. The STAR/Mong Pintolo

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) on Thursday filed criminal charges at a Manila court against 11 alleged members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity (AJF) for violation of Republic Act No. 8049 (the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995), in connection with the death by hazing of fraternity recruit Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.

The DoJ, on the other hand, also cleared Dean Nilo T. Divina of the University of Santo Tomas (UST)-Faculty of Civil Law, faculty secretary Arthur B. Capili, the Aegis Juris Foundation, Inc., as represented by its trustees, and 10 other respondents.

In its 49-page resolution, the DoJ indicted Marcelino Bagtang, Arvin Balag, Mhin Wei Chan, Axel Munrio Hipe, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Robin Ramos, Danielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo, Jose Miguel Salamat, and Ralph Trangia.

Another respondent, John Paul Solano, was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.

The 22-year-old Mr. Castillo was brought lifeless to the Chinese General Hospital on Sept. 17, 2017, following an initiation rite.

In a statement, Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri said in part: “I urge all the parties involved to cooperate fully and finally tell all in order to clear their conscience and aid in the swift resolution of this case.” — Dane Angelo M. Enerio with Camille A. Aguinaldo