MANILA — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday took to social media his thoughts on the recent testimony of witness Mark Ventura, a former leader of the Aegis Juris fraternity, on what transpired during the initiation rites which supposedly led to the death of law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier said that based on Ventura’s testimony, the rites, which lasted for more than three hours, involved punching the victim, hitting him with a spatula and paddle.
Aguirre further said that although Atio had already collapsed by the fourth paddle the frat men continued to hit him for the fifth time when the victim regained consciousness.
“Our hearts go out to Atio’s parents,” Lacson said in his official Twitter account.
“Struggling between relief and agony, they hate to hear what they have always wanted to know – what actually happened to their son that dreadful early morning of Sep 17, 2017,” he added.
Lacson is chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs conducting the Senate probe into Atio’s hazing death.
Ventura is the second frat member who spoke about the events that transpired before Atio’s death. The first is John Paul Solano, a medical technologist who tried to revive the victim.
Aguire said that Ventura has already been accepted to the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP).
Lacson, in an earlier statement, said that Solano “blew his chance” of becoming a state witness.
Solano , a registered medical technologist, earlier claimed that Atio died of cardiac arrest due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and not due to hazing.