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Atio Castillo's parents seek action vs UST law dean, faculty.

The expulsion from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) of eight law students tagged in the hazing death of freshman Horatio 'Atio' Castillo III is not enough for his parents, who want the law dean and some faculty members also held accountable.

Malacanang lauded the expulsion, calling it 'the right step forward.'

In a statement, Atio's father Horacio II and mother Carminia said that while they welcome UST's expulsion of the eight students, actions should also be taken against civil law dean Nilo Divina and other members of the faculty.

'They are as much involved since they knew about Atio's death Sunday morning or noon and they did not even call the police to report or at least surrender to the police the fraternity members,' they stressed in a statement.

In an interview, Carminia believes that Divina and other alumni of the fraternity should also be held administratively liable.

She cited the failure of the law dean to inform them of Castillo's death when he allegedly knew about it before the family did.

Carminia also asked why the fraternity's alumni members met in a hotel in Quezon City after her son's death.

'Of course we still need more from them (UST), like what about their actions with regard to the faculty members, with the dean. They have to answer a lot. They need to ban the Aegis Juris from the university,' she pointed out.

Castillo's parents also lamented what they called delayed action from UST.

'Given the time from September (last year) to present, UST should have acted on this beforehand. Anyway, it's better late than never,' Carminia said.

'They know the law, there's already an existing Anti-Hazing Law and they have violated every section of the law, including the school. The school was not even there to oversee Aegis Juris,' she added.

Carminia said their family still plans to proceed with their complaint against UST before the Vatican, which has direct authority over the pontifical university.

UST's administration announced over the weekend its decision to expel eight law students involved in the fatal hazing for violating the Code of Conduct and Discipline, but did not name them.

Divina and the other fraternity members are facing charges of murder, hazing and obstruction of justice before the Department of Justice, which is set to resolve this month the complaint filed by Castillo's parents and the Manila Police District.

The law dean and 20 others are likewise facing disbarment proceedings before the Supreme Court upon complaint filed by the Senate, which earlier investigated the hazing case. Investigation revealed Castillo had been dead for hours when brought to the Chinese General Hospital by frat brothers before dawn in September last year.

At Malacanang, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said UST made the right move to expel the eight students linked to Castillo's death and attempted cover-up.

'Expelling them sends the message that our schools will not tolerate violence on our campuses, although that is only the beginning,' he said.

'There will have to be criminal prosecution for violation of the anti-hazing law,' he added.

In a statement, UST said the committee formed to probe the hazing incident found the eight unnamed students guilty of violating its code of conduct and discipline.

'The University reiterates its commitment to ferret out the truth, determine liability and impose the appropriate sanctions,' UST said.
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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Feb 20, 2018
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