Escudero: Fratmen in hazing case ‘tarnishing the legal profession’
“Dinudungisan nila ang legal propesyon na kinabibilangan namin at ng maraming mga abogado.”
(They are tarnishing the legal profession which we and many other lawyers are a part of.)
This was what Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero had to say on Thursday to the Aegis Juris fraternity members whom he said, “clearly attempted” to cover-up their brods’ crime that resulted to the death of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III on September 17.
Escudero said the online exchange of messages by Aegis Juris fraternity members was a clear proof of this.
“Maliwanag base sa chat nila na nag intensyon ay ikubli ang krimen at itago yung mga liable talaga rito,” the senator said during the “Kapihan sa Senado” forum.
(It’s clear based on their chats that they intended to cover their crime and hide those who are liable.)
Escudero also said the fraternity members’ alleged participation in the exchange and in the actual hazing could be grounds for their disbarment or could prevent them from taking the bar examination.
“Sa katunayan ang paglabag sa Anti-hazing law, ang pag-commit ng murder at pagiging accessory sa murder, ito’y nagcoconstitute ng moral turpitude, at maaring maging basehan na ang mga estudyante ng law hindi payagan mag-bar at hindi pwede mag-abogado at ground din ‘yan ng disbarment ng abogado,” he added.
(Violating the Anti-hazing law, committing a murder, and being an accessory to a murder constitute moral turpitude, and it can be basis for law students to not be allowed to take the bar and not allowed to be a lawyer; it can also be ground for disbarment of a lawyer.)
During the Senate investigation into Castillo’s death on Wednesday, Manila Police District (MPD) director Sr. Supt. Joel Coronel said the Facebook group chat of fraternity members from September 17 to 18 was an attempt to cover up each other’s participation in the alleged hazing of Castillo.
“In light of the discovery of these messages, the objective of Aegis Juris was to cover up, conceal; to avoid and evade prosecution for this case,” Coronel said.
Among the discussions in the chat messages were the fraternity members’ attempt to clean the Aegis Juris library of possible evidence, including the paddle used to hit Castillo, before the authorities could search the place.
“May kaya family niyan. Bukas makakakuha sila ng search warrant sa frat library. Sana malinis na. Sana matanggal na ang paddle doon,” one chat message from Alston Kevin Anarna said.
(His family is well-off. They’ll be able to get a search warrant for the frat library tomorrow. I hope it gets cleaned up. I hope the paddle gets removed from there.)
A certain Jet Villaroman also asked: “May news na kung nalinis na frat (library)?”
(Is there any news if the frat library was cleaned up?) /je
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.