Atio’s parents express sentiments on Mark Ventura’s ‘detailed’ testimony
“We miss him. We cannot tell you how painful it is to lose a child,” Carminia, mother of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III said Friday during the reopening of a preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Carminia and Horacio Jr., parents of Atio attended the preliminary investigation at the DOJ where the respondents, mostly members of Aegis Juris fraternity have been required to comment on the affidavit submitted by witness and fellow fraternity member Mark Ventura.
“With his statement they cannot deny that a crime has been committed. Hindi nila puwedeng itanggi yung hazing na nangyari (they cannot deny that hazing happened) and we have a witness to the crime which I believe would put them all to jail,” Carmina told reporters after the hearing.
“It is just proper that they reopen the case to present the affidavit of Mark Ventura. It’s ok we are very happy for that (and) very grateful, very thankful to DOJ,” Atio’s mother added.
Horacio Jr. also expressed grateful to Ventura for saying the truth.
“Pasalamat ako siya lang (referring to Ventura), I think, nag lakas ng loob to say the truth. Nung binasa naman namin I think he is very credible pag nakita (sic), we digest it. For me mabigat pero yun nangyari may mararating yun ginawa testimony ni Mr. Mark Ventura,” he noted.
(I am thankful for him. I think he mustered enough strength to finally say the truth. When we read [the testimony] I think he is very credible. For me that would be hard but the testimony issued by Mark Ventura will go a long way.)
Ventura, accompanied by his lawyer, subscribed to his sworn statement before the panel of prosecutor led by Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva with member Assistant Prosecutor Attorney II Wendell Bendoval for the reopening of the preliminary investigation on the criminal complaints in relation to Castillo’s death.
During the hearing, Paterno Esmaquel, counsel for respondent John Paul Solano objected to the reopening of the investigation but DOJ prosecutors said the reopening of the probe was to give them the opportunity to comment on Ventura’s affidavit.
The case has been submitted for resolution last November. However, the panel only received Ventura’s affidavit last Jan. 3. Ventura, who is already under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) narrated in detail what really happened before, during and after the hazing of Atio.
The prosecutors set the submission of comment on Jan. 22 and for the conduct of a clarificatory hearing. /jpv