Suspect in UST law student’s murder surfaces
One of the prime suspects in the killing of University of Santo Tomas (UST) freshman law student, Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, surfaced on Friday at the office of Senator Panfilo Lacson in Taguig City.
John Paul Solano was wearing a grey jacket and cap when he showed up at the office of Lacson, who is set to investigate Castillo’s death on Monday as chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs.
Aside from Solano and Lacson, also present at the senator’s office were UST Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, Manila Police District chief Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel, and the suspect’s lawyer.
‘Better to surrender’
Divina, in an interview with CNN Philippines, said he convinced Solano to surrender and “speak the truth” about his involvement in the death of Castillo.
The dean said he and Solano’s father are “very close friends.”
“I spoke with my dad to relay to John Paul it’s better to surrender and turn himself in and speak the truth and explain his actions,” Divina said.
“And then my father talked to Capt. Solano, I mean the father of John Solano and he’s able to convince his son to turn himself in.”
Divina said the negotiations for Solano’s surrender started last Wednesday.
Attempt to revive
Asked what he knew about Solano’s role in Castillo’s death, the dean cited the version relayed to his dad by the suspect’s father.
“He (Solano) was asked to try to revive Atio and he failed. Then he was brought to the Chinese General Hospital (CGH),” Divina said.
Asked then if Solano’s earlier claim that he found the victim dumped in Balut, Tondo Manila last September 17 was false, the dean said: “Based on that story, it appears it is not true. The body was brought to the Chinese General Hospital.”
Divina refused to give further details.
In a sworn statement with the MPD, Solano claimed he found Castillo’s body on the pavement in Tondo and brought it to the Chinese General Hospital (CGH).
But an MPD investigation later showed that a red pick-up vehicle was used to bring Castillo to the CGH. The vehicle was later traced under the name of Antonio Trangia.
Coronel earlier tagged Solano, Trangia and son, Ralph as “primary suspects” in the killing of Castillo. Solano and Ralph Trangia are members of the Aegis Juris fraternity.
Autopsy results reportedly showed that Castillo died of hazing. /kga,idl