Manila Police District (MPD) on Thursday released John Paul Solano, the primary suspect in the hazing death of UST freshman law student Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III.
Solano was freed a day after the Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered his release, affirming the argument of Solano’s counsel, Paterno Esmaquel, that his client can’t be detained any further for an inquest proceeding as he voluntarily surrendered and wasn’t arrested. Only individuals who were arrested and detained undergo inquest proceedings.
Esmaquel added that his client is entitled to a regular preliminary investigation, ones Solano will attend on October 4 and 9.
“I would like to thank MPD na nagtiyaga sila sa akin kahit medyo na-stress sila [for their patience on me despite getting a little stressed],” Solano told reporters.
Solano persistently said that he will prove his innocence before the court.
“Rest assured, I will shed light sa [in the] story pagdating ng preliminary investigation [when the preliminary information comes]. I will prove my innocence for telling the truth,” Solano added.
When asked what he felt after his release, Solano anwered “nothing”.
He added that he is not afraid of a possible revenge against him.
“Sila nang bahala kung anong gusto nilang gawin [It’s up to them as to what they want to do], he said.
“As I said po noong nakaraan, I still believe na hindi sila ganun ka-savage or barbaric [As I said, I still believe that they are not that savage or barbaric],” he added.
Solano also expressed sympathy to Castillo’s family.
“Also, I would like to extend my deepest condolences sa parents ni Atio [to Atio’s parents].”
Meanwhile, MPD said that the order of release did not pacify the obstruction of justice complaint filed against Solano for giving a false statement after he surrendered to Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday, September 22. Solano has earlier apologized for this incident.
He is now facing multiple criminal complaints of murder, hazing, perjury, robbery, and obstruction of justice.