MANILA — The mother of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, on Wednesday faced some members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity for the first time and asked them to give back her son’s belongings as they were important to her.
“You have (Atio’s) phone, eyeglasses, watch. Bring (them) back. Those are important things to us. Those were his last things,” Carmina Castillo told the frat members during the second Senate hearing on her son’s hazing death.
Frat members present in the hearing were Oliver Onofre, Arvin Balag, Mark Ventura, Axel Hipe, and Jose Miguel Salamat, among others.
Castillo was upset that none of the members even bothered to tell Atio’s family about what happened despite her constant effort to reach them.
“I was calling them but nobody was answering. I was looking for my son,” she said.
The Castillos discovered Atio’s death through an anonymous text message on Sept. 18, a day after the incident took place.
Also during the hearing, UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina admitted failing to immediately contact Atio’s parents because he did not have the victim’s full name and address.
“I did try to reach out but at 6 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 17) I didn’t have the full name and the address but as early as 1:30 p.m., I told the faculty secretary to get the full name and address so I can talk to the parents. The fact that we informed the father regent clearly belies any cover-up,” Divina told reporters in an interview.
Divina maintained that he had no liability and prior knowledge of the incident and was not part of any cover-up.
He added that his call to the frat members since day one was to surrender and face the consequences of their actions.
“Those involved in the cover-up should be meted sanctions. They should be penalized accordingly and we will never condone a cover-up,” Divina said. (PNA)