MPD: Hazing suspect Solano refuses to meet parents of Horacio Castillo III
Published: 2:38 p.m., Sept. 24, 2017 | Updated: 8:52 p.m., Sept. 24, 2017
Horacio Jr. and Carminia Castillo visited the Manila Police District before Sunday noon in the hope of talking face-to-face to John Paul Solano and knowing what really happened to their son during the “welcoming ceremony” of the Aegis Juris fraternity last week.
But Solano, who surrendered to authorities on Friday, refused to talk to them since his lawyers were not present, according to MPD director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel.
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He said the parents of University of Santo Tomas law school freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III could not wait for Solano’s lawyers to arrive because they had other things to attend to.
“They hope to just talk to Solano during the Senate hearing on Monday,” Coronel said, quoting the Castillo couple who did not talk to reporters.
The Senate committee on public order, chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, will investigate on Monday, Sept. 25, the death of Atio, who was killed in a hazing activity of Aegis fratmen.
Carminia, on previous reports, said she wanted to talk to the members of Aegis “to shed light on what happened to her son.”
During the wake of Atio at Santuario de San Agustin in Makati, she said: “Sabihin nila sa ‘kin kung papaano namatay anak ko. Kung umiiyak ba siya, kung ano yung nangyayari sa kanya. Gusto ko malaman yun kasi wala ako dun. Gusto ko malaman kung paano siya namatay, paano nila pinatay.”
[“Tell me how my son died. Was he crying? What was happening to him? I want to know because I was not there for him. I want to know how he died, how he they killed him.”]
Atio’s uncle, Gerardo Castillo, said he would be interred on Wednesday at the family mausoleum at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque.
Solano, maintaining his innocence, turned himself in at the office of Lacson in Taguig, in the presence of Coronel and UST Faculty of Civil Law dean Nilo Divina. Police then brought him to MPD where he is being held after signing a waiver of detention.
Coronel said Solano had not issued an affidavit or statement. “We are giving his counsel the rest of this day (Sunday) for them to prepare it.”
He said Solano would name fraternity members involved in the hazing.
Asked if Solano could be considered a state witness, Coronel said it would depend on his lawyers and his “level of cooperation.” The Castillos have rejected that possibility.
Despite his cooperation, the MPD chief said they would pursue cases against Solano, particularly perjury and obstruction of justice for lying under oath, which compromised their investigation.
Solano, one of the primary suspects in Atio’s killing, told policemen that he found the body of the 22-year-old neophyte at a street corner in Balut, Tondo, on Sept. 17. A passing Mitsubishi Strada purportedly fetched them and took them to the Chinese General Hospital.
Officials of Barangay 133, which has jurisdiction over Balut, disputed Solano’s account.
A medical technologist who was on leave from his UST law studies, Solano maintained that he did not participate in the initiation rites for Castillo. He said he only responded to a call for help by his fraternity brothers.
The 27-year-old Solano said he found Atio already unconscious. “I did give CPR and then when I couldn’t do anything else, I brought him to the hospital.”
The Strada was registered to a certain Antonio Trangia, the father of Raphael Trangia, an official of Aegis.
Coronel said Antonio Trangia already sent surrender feelers to police. “Hopefully within today (Sunday) or before the Senate hearing, he will be appearing to clarify his participation or involvement. Otherwise he’s still be considered a principal suspect.”
MPD has called the US Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation “for the possibility of tracing the whereabouts” of Ralph Trangia, who fled the country with his mother on Sept. 19 to Chicago, Illinois, via Taipei.
Coronel said the mother would also be “charged accordingly.”
According to Coronel, four Aegis members have sent surrender feelers – two each talking to DOJ and MPD.
He urged the other fraternity members to surrender if they have any information about the death of Castillo.
“We will arrest them wherever they are,” Coronel told reporters after the visit of Castillo’s parents.
The MPD chief said they were eyeing six more officers of the fraternity as suspects.
“Most of the suspects are hiding with assistance of other persons. But hopefully we’ll make arrests again,” Coronel said.
Trangia, an official of the Aegis Juris fraternity, and his father, Antonio, also surfaced as two of the prime suspects after the MPD discovered the red Mitsubishi Strada used to bring Castillo to the hospital was theirs. /je /atm
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