10 frat men in Atio slay now with NBI
A day after a Manila court ordered their arrests over the hazing death of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman Horatio Atio Castillo III, the 10 Aegis Juris frat men are now under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
In a press conference on Friday, NBI spokesperson Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin confirmed that the suspects voluntarily surrendered and were picked up by NBI agents from an undisclosed location in Manila.
Lavin said the frat men would remain under their custody until the court orders their transfer to another detention facility.
No special treatment
He assured the public that they would not be given special treatment and would be detained at the NBI jail.
Present during the conference were Aegis Juris officers Arvin Balag, Ralph Trangia, Oliver John Onofre, Mhin Wei Chan and Axel Munro Hipe; and members Danielle Hans Rodrigo, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Marcelino Bagtang, John Robin Ramos and Jose Miguel Salamat.
They are currently facing charges of violating Republic Act No. 8049–a nonbailable offense–over Castillo’s death before the Manila Regional Trial Court.
All 10 were students of the UST College of Law at the time of Castillo’s death in September.
In February, UST ordered the expulsion of eight law students implicated in the fatal initiation rites, though they refused to name them.
Branch 40 Presiding Judge Alfredo Ampuan, who is currently hearing the case, ordered their arrests on Thursday afternoon.
NBI internal affairs officer Danilo Mayani said he arranged for their surrender.
‘They deserve it’
Asked why they surrendered to the NBI and not to the Manila Police District, Mayani said the men just wanted to ensure their safety.
Handcuffed and silent, the young men refused to field questions from reporters as their emotional parents watched.
Atioís parents Horatio and Carmina, however, were not present.
“We were expecting them actually to surrender to the Manila police, not to the NBI–I didn’t expect that all of them will join together,” Carmina told the Inquirer in a phone interview. “Still, at least they recognize the crime the committed. Now they will face they consequences of what they have done.”
Mincing no words, Carmina said they “deserved” their fate.
“The truth is I really donít care about them. Hindi ako naaawa sa kanila. They disregarded the life of my son. They deserve it, regardless of to whom they surrendered, whether to the NBI or to police,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ramos and Salamat filed a motion urging Ampuan to inhibit from the case, citing his relationship with former Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) chair Dante Jimenez.
Ramos and Salamat claimed Ampuan was “incapable of rendering fair and impartial judgment” over their case as Jimenez’s sister, Marilissa, is his wife.
Seven of the 10 members of the Aegis Juris fraternity ordered arrested have no records of departure with the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
“When we say ‘no departure,’ we mean that their travel record indicate that after their last arrival we do not have any record of departure,” explained BI spokesperson Antonette Mangrobang. –WITH A REPORT BY JULIE M. AURELIO
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