Ex-Aegis Juris officer now a gov’t witness in Atio slay case
One of the members of Aegis Juris Fraternity present during the initiation rites of slain University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III has turned state witness, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Wednesday
Aguirre said Mark Ventura, a former officer of Aegis Juris, his mother and counsel met with him and officials of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday and he gave his testimony on what Atio went through that led to his death.
“He narrated to us what he know about what happened to Atio from the time of his admission as a neophyte of the Aegis Juris Fraternity until his initiation rites in the early morning of Sept. 17, 2017…Mr. Ventura gave us the names. After hearing the names, I immediately decided to place him under provisional acceptance of WPP (Witness Protection Program),” Aguirre said at a press conference.
Ventura, according to Aguirre was present not only during the initiation rites but a day before the incident and during a meeting after Atio’s death.
“Mr. Ventura’s decision to seek admission into our WPP is a most welcome development in this case as we all endeavor to give justice to Atio’s untimely demise,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre said Ventura has offered a strong testimony.
“His declarations are clear. Even without any corroborative testimony, I believe that his statement will stand,” Aguirre told reporters.
After evaluating his sworn statement, Ventura has been given full coverage under the Witness Protection Program. /je
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