2 Aegis Juris fratmen ask judge to inhibit.
Two detained members of Aegis Juris fraternity have asked a Manila regional trial court judge to inhibit due to his supposed partiality in handling the hazing case involving the death of 22-year-old University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio Castillo III.
Jose Miguel Salamat and John Robin Ramos through their lawyers filed a motion for the inhibition of Branch 40 Presiding Judge Alfredo Ampuan from the case due to his alleged links to Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) president Dante Jimenez, who has assisted the family of Castillo.
The fraternity men alleged that the judge is Jimenez's brother-in-law through the judge's wife Marilissa Jimenez-Ampuan, and thus is 'incapable of rendering fair and impartial abjudication of the instant case.'
Jimenez-Ampuan is also the president and chief executive officer of the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges, where Jimenez is chairman.
The accused presented a photo from the college website where the judge and VACC's Jimenez were seen together during the Mariners Tourism and Hotel Institute inauguration.
The fraternity men's lawyer also complained that just hours after the accused filed a motion seeking the judge's inhibition, he issued his order finding probable cause against the accused and ordering their arrest on Thursday.
Their lawyers' liaison officer Atilano Ordonez said he had asked the court about its order for probable cause at around 3 p.m. on Thursday and was told there was none.
The court released the order around 4:40 p.m., just one and a half hours after their motion for inhibition against the judge was filed, they alleged.
'It is highly irregular and suspicious that the Honorable Court has suddenly rendered and released the joint resolution dated March 22, 2018, after the herein accused filed their motion for inhibition at around 3:10 p.m... Clearly then, the issuance of the joint resolution is highly irregular and suspicious,' their motion read.
The two were among the 10 Aegis Juris fraternity members who surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation, where they are detained following the release of their arrest warrants.
The fraternity members have been expelled from UST and are waiting for the judge's order on where they would be detained as they face trial for Castillo's death.