2 senators welcome Ventura’s revelations in Atio hazing case
The revelation of former Aegis Juris fraternity officer Marc Anthony Ventura will bring hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III “one step closer to justice,” two senators said on Thursday.
“The pang of conscience is the thin line that separates men from beasts. Young Marc gives me hope because his young conscience made him tell the truth and free himself from the sinister code of silence to cover up the crime within the walls of the Aegis Jvris den called the Library,” Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said in a statement.
“Tingin ko po mas magiging mabilis na ang susunod na hearing kasi malaya na kaming makakapagtanong sa kanya (Ventura). Mapapabilis ang pagkilos ng Senado para makamit ang hustisya para kay Atio at maisaayos ang Anti-Hazing Law at iba pang reporma,” Senator Joel Villanueva also said in a separate statement.
Ventura is the second Aegis Juris member who spoke about Castillo’s death on Sept. 17 in the hands of Aegis Juris fraternity members, after John Paul Solano, a medical technologist.
Both senators agreed that Ventura’s statement before Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II was a “welcome development” in Castillo’s case.
“It must have been a battle that Marc fought in his mind and heart through all these days while the Senate investigated, his frat brods lied and lawyers conjured smokescreens to save their skins. I note with high regard that Marc won the fight from being a coward to one who fearlessly stared at the truth and preferred to be part of the light instead of the dark lies,” Zubiri said.
“It is a welcome development to the case and brings us one step closer to justice for Atio and his family,” he added.
On Wednesday, Ventura, together with his mother and lawyer, met Aguirre to tell all that he knew before and during the apparent initiation rites of Castillo.
“The narration rendered by Marc showed the frat brods were relentless in inflicting pain and injury. What they did were not symbolic acts of initiation into brotherhood or tests of character,” Zubiri said.
“Each paddle whack, each punch and each candle wax drip had built into deathly blows from which no one could have emerged a whole person physically, emotionally and mentally.
“Atio was a whole man before he underwent hazing, and came out of it a broken mass in pain,” added the senator, who initiated the Senate inquiry into Castillo’s death.
Villanueva said the Senate probe might resume on November 6. /je
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