Atio’s parents to lodge complaint vs UST before Vatican
The parents of hazing victim and University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III are planning to take their quest for justice all the way to the Vatican.
Atio’s mother, Carminia, said on Wednesday that they were thinking of filing a complaint before the Vatican against UST and demand that the university be held accountable of the death of their son.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier recommended that Atio’s case be brought to the Vatican as UST kept its silence following findings by the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on the student’s fatal hazing in September.
“Yes, if that is the recommendation we will take it to the Vatican. We will do everything for our Atio and for justice,” Castillo told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
“It was already taken up and considered by our families and legal counsel. As to the timeline it will be soon,” she added.
In an interview early Wednesday, Zubiri said UST was “subject to investigative procedures of the Vatican.”
As a Catholic and Pontifical university, UST is directly under the authority of the Holy See, according to Zubiri.
UST has remained silent over the findings of the Senate panel’s committee report which 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 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.
It also urged the school to perpetually ban Aegis Juris fraternity from the university.
“The culture of violence must be eradicated in every educational institution. With that, UST owes it to the late Horacio Tomas Castillo III and his grieving family to be the first to initiate,” the committee report said.
“There is no statement more forceful and convincing than permanently banning the Aegis Juris fraternity from the university,” the committee added in its investigation report.
Divina, one of the most prominent members of the fraternity, is still serving as the Faculty of Civil Law dean.
Zubiri said that UST had to be “[taken] to task” because Atio died “under their watch.”
“Quickly, ‘pag natatalo yung kanilang team sa UAAP, tinatanggal nila kaagad yung coach (when their team loses in the UAAP, they get 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 added. /muf
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