‘We were appalled’ – Atio’s kin on frat men’s ‘cover up’ try
This was how the father of Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III described the exchange of messages among Aegis Juris fraternity members, as he considered the online conversations among the fraternity brothers as an “intention to cover up” his son’s murder.
“Nagulat kami about the chat, parang there was an intention to cover up,” Castillo told reporters after Wednesday’s five-hour Senate hearing on the fatal hazing of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) freshman law student.
(We were appalled about the chat, as if there was an intention to cover up.)
“What’s striking is that a lot of lawyers were involved in this. It’s conduct unbecoming of them,” Castillo said.
Manila Police District (MPD) director Sr. Supt. Joel Coronel presented during the Senate hearing screenshots of messages among members of the Aegis Juris fraternity in their Facebook group chat from September 17 to September 18.
Among the discussions in the chat were clearing the Aegis Juris fraternity library of evidence, denying involvement in the incident, and supposedly maintaining that Atio’s death was an accident.
The victim’s parents were emotional while Senator Joel Villanueva was reading aloud the conversations of the frat members.
Castillo said he will consult with their lawyers if they could file charges against those participating in the group chat, “especially these attorneys tried to conceal evidence.”
The messages also revealed that the frat men considered reaching out to Atio’s parents for a settlement.
But the older Castillo said no one from the organization reached out to them or offered to help them.
“And what kind of settlement gusto nila? You can’t buy life. That’s my son,” he said.
Castillo, however, said that he pities in a way those frat men involved in the murder of his son because “their lives are over.”
“Do you think magiging lawyers pa sila? Tapos na buhay nila. Will you hire them as lawyers in the future knowing kung anong ginawa nila?” he said. /kga
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