Friends remember Horacio, a ’brother’ who died for a ‘false brotherhood’
Numb, angry, and depressed, was how Robin Locson described his feeling when he woke up to the news that his friend of 15 years, Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III, had died.
“Yung feeling na parang manhid pero galit ako, sobrang depressed,” Locson told reporters on Tuesday at the wake of his friend, whom he had known since their days at the Colegio de San Agustin.
Despite the anger that immediately came upon him, he remembered what his friend would have done if faced with the same situation.
“Pero alam ko ang gagawin ni Atio pag mga ganito. Sasabihin niya sa akin: Comfort the family muna. Family first palagi. Pwede ka magalit, pero take care muna of his family, kasi it’s also like my family na rin,” the teary-eyed Locson said.
(“But I know what Atio would have done in a situation like this. He would tell me: Comfort the famil first. It’s always family first. You can get angry, but take care of the family first, because it’s also like my own family.”)
Locson condemned the members of the Aegis Juris fraternity, some of whose members were known to be with Castillo the night before he was found dead – dumped in a sidewalk in Tondo, Manila, his body full of bruises and burns.
Locson remembered Castillo as everyone’s “brother” and yet he died because of a “false brotherhood.”
“Basta alam ko si Atio siya talaga yung brother for all,” Locson said. “Yung mga ginawa nya sa orgs sa college niya, he just makes everybody feel we’re worthy, like never give up.”
(“All I know is Atio was really a brother for all. What he does with other people in his organization, he makes everybody feel they’re worthy, like never give up.”)
“Up to now yung feeling na telling me never give up is still there,” he added.
(“Up to now this feeling that’s telling me to never give up is still there.”)
Before Castillo was killed, Locson recalled having conversations with him about the fraternity he was joining.
“Minsan nga nagseselos din kami kasi mas pumupunta siya dun,” Locson said. “Pero alam namin kasi sabi niya for law school naman yun eh.”
(“Sometimes we would get jealous becasue he would go there more often. But we understood because he said it was for law school.”)
On the night of Saturday, all that Locson knew was that Castillo would attend a gathering.
Meanwhile, Lorenze Salonga said Castillo, who had been his friend for nine years, was a jolly person who was always open about his problems.
“If he has problems, he’s not sheltered, he’s open,” Salonga said. “So, yeah, he’s a happy person. Pero pag may problema we can talk about it easily. Very mature, he’s like the dad of our group.”
Despite the difference in the length of time they knew Castillo, Locson and Salonga had the same call: “Justice for Horacio.”
The two also vowed to support Castillo family in getting justice for their friend. /atm