MPD: ‘Good samaritans’ appear as suspects in death of UST law student
The Manila Police District (MPD) on Wednesday tagged the “good samaritans,” who helped bring the body of Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III to the hospital, as principal suspects behind the death of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman.
MPD director Chief Supt. Joel Napoleon Coronel confirmed that John Paul Solano was a member of the Aegis Juris fraternity, and knew Castillo even before the “welcoming ceremony” took place on the night of Sept. 16.
Solano told the police in his sworn statement that he saw the body of Castillo at a street corner in Balut, Tondo, at 7:50 a.m. on Sept. 17, while on his way to work at San Lazaro Hospital.
Solano was pronounced dead at the Chinese General Hospital due to heart attack. His body suffered bruises, cigarette burns and candle wax drippings allegedly due to hazing rites.
Coronel showed closed-circuit television videos of Barangay 470 outside UST showing Solano with Castillo.
The MPD chief said Solano “deliberately falsified his statement” to compromise the ongoing investigation and throw off course the direction of the entire police investigation.
In addition, MPD investigators found out that the passing red Mitsubishi Strada with plate number ZTV 539 that took Castillo to Chinese General Hospital was registered to an Antonio Trangia.
Coronel said they believed Antonio was the father of Ralph Trangia, an officer of the Aegis Juris fraternity.
Coronel said the three are now being considered as “principal suspects” and are now the subjects of manhunt operations.
Police also consider the eight officers of Aegis Juris as suspects.
Coronel said that under the anti-hazing law, the officers were accountable for the crime even if they were not present in the crime scene but had knowledge on the recruitment and hazing of Castillo. /jpv