One of the primary suspects in the killing of University of Santo Tomas (UST) freshman law student Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III surrendered to Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday, September 22.
Accompanied by his lawyer and the UST Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, John Paul Solano who is also a member of the Aegis Juris fraternity urged that he is innocent.
“I want to clear my name. I’m innocent,” Solano said before he was turned to Manila Police District (MPD).
UST law student Solano who brought Castillo to Chinese General Hospital apologized to the Castillo family.
“First and foremost, I would like to apologize for giving a false statement to the family of Atio and also for the death of their son,” Solano said in a media interview.
After he was tagged as one of the persons of interest in the hazing-related killing of Castillo, Solano admitted that he was not present during the initiation rites of Atio. However, Solano said that his only role to give a medical assistance.
He added, “I cannot give a final verdict that he is dead since I am not a doctor. He’s unconscious. I did CPR. When I can’t do anything else, I brought him to the hospital.”
However, he refused to give further details and denied that he was the one who recruited Castillo to join Aegis Juris.
“I would shed light on this matter through my attorney. They are preparing a statement for me,” Solano furthered.
Earlier, In Solano’s statement, he said that he was buying a cigarette when he found Atio lying on the pavement in the corner of H. Lopez Boulevard and Infanta Street in Balut, Tondo, Manila.
MDP spokesperson Superintendent Erwin Margarejo said that Solano violated the Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code or the willful assertion of a falsehood under oath and R.A. 8049 Anti-hazing law.
“As I called him earlier, it’s good for him that he came here on his own collision, submitted himself to the authorities for the investigation,” Superintendent Joel Colonel, MPD chief said.
When asked if Atio is still considered as the primary suspect, Colonel said: “He is, as I explained to Paul and to his council that our investigation shows that he is principally involved in the killing of Atio Castillo.”