Zubiri: Hazing suspect’s driver can be state witness
The Department of Justice (DOJ) should turn into a state witness the driver of one of the suspects in the killing of University of Santo Tomas law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Sunday.
According to Zubiri, Romeo Laboga, the driver of suspect Ralph Trangia, was the “least guilty” in the alleged hazing of Castillo by members of the university’s Aegis Juris fraternity. Laboga and two fraternity members took Castillo’s body to Chinese General Hospital.
“I would suggest to the DOJ to locate this driver and try to make him a state witness. Among all of them, he would be the least guilty,” Zubiri said in a radio interview.
“This driver had nothing to do [with the hazing] since he is not a member of the fraternity. He was just told to bring the cadaver [to the hospital]. It would be good if he is [placed] under the witness protection program,” he added.
Sen. Grace Poe earlier asked the Senate on public order and dangerous drugs to summon Laboga after Trangia’s father claimed that the driver was with him at the time Castillo’s body was brought to the hospital.
Another suspect, John Paul Solano, also said he was with Laboga and another fraternity member, Alvin Balag, when the victim was hospitalized.
In an executive session after the Senate’s first hearing on Sept. 25, Solano named the members of the Aegis Juris fraternity who were allegedly present at the Aegis Juris library in Manila, where Castillo was believed to have undergone hazing rites on Sept. 17.
“The evidence against Trangia is strong because his pick-up was seen there. It’s possible that he could have been there (during the hazing),” Zubiri said.
Trangia and his father had refused to confirm that they own the red Mitsubishi Strada used to bring Castillo to the hospital.
Obstruction of justice
Zubiri said the lawyer-members of the fraternity members who advised suspects to get rid of the evidence in Castillo’s killing should be disbarred for obstruction of justice.
“At the very least, they should be disbarred. One of them is even working in the Supreme Court. Disbarment cases should be filed against all those involved,” he added.
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