Complain before Vatican, Zubiri tells Atio’s parents
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri is urging the parents of hazing victim Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III to file a complaint against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) before the Vatican to seek further accountability from the school over their son’s death.
Zubiri told reporters on Wednesday that he had suggested the move to the Castillo family as the UST remained silent on the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs findings on Atio’s fatal hazing in September.
“As a matter of fact I suggested to the family of the Castillos, to take it up to the Vatican, lodge a complaint to the Vatican directly,” Zubiri said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum.
“And being a Pontifical school, under the realm of the Vatican, they are also subject to investigative procedures of the Vatican,” he added.
The UST, as a Catholic and Pontifical university, is directly under the authority of the Holy See.
The panel in late January recommended the disbarment of UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina and 18 other lawyers, all members of the Aegis Juris fraternity, for their supposed role in Atio’s death.
The report said that the lawyers attempted to cover up the crime committed by their fraternity brothers as they all failed to report to the authorities Atio’s death despite having knowledge of the incident.
Atio’s mom, Carminia, condemned the UST’s “deafening” silence on the committee report and said that the school never reached out to the family since September.
“It’s very disappointing. The silence is deafening,” she told the Inquirer.
Read: Atio Castillo’s mom: UST silence on Senate findings deafening
Zubiri, one of the main proponents of Senate Bill 1662 or the Revised Anti-Hazing Act, sneered at the UST’s swift action against erring coaches in its University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) team but hardly made noise on the issue of Atio’s hazing.
“Quickly, ‘pag natatalo yung kanilang team sa UAAP, tinatanggal nila kagad yung coach (when their team loses in the UAAP, they ger rid of their coaches). And on other issues, they quickly do disciplinary procedures,” Zubiri said.
“But how come this issue on hazing, when it comes to the law department, they are quiet all of a sudden?” he said.
Divina, one of the most prominent members of Aegis Juris, is still serving as the UST Faculty of Civil Law dean.
Senate Bill 1662, which puts more stringent punishment for hazing, hurdled the second reading on Tuesday and is set to be tackled on third reading on Monday. /cbb
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