‘Conscience cannot be bought or taught,’ regent tells suspects in Atio’s case

Photo by Ana Barbara A. San Diego/ THE FLAME 

MANIPULATION OF the truth can never justify one’s conscience, the regent of the Faculty of Arts and Letters told the suspects in the death of Civil Law freshman and Political Science alumnus Horacio Castillo III.

“For a Thomasian must, more or less a lawyer, not own an evil act through legal maneuverings, technicalities, and deceitful legal remedies [as these] will never appease our consciences because conscience cannot be bought or taught,” Rev. Fr. Rodel Aligan said on Oct. 26 during the Mass commemorating the 40th day since the death of Castillo.

Aligan said it is through admitting one’s actions that peace of mind can be attained.

“Those who hide in the cloak of anonymity are cowards and cannot come to terms with their conscience,” he said. “We pray for their enlightenment, that peace comes only to those who embrace the truths and are willing to tell the truth.”

Hazing victim Castillo died on Sept. 17 after attending the “welcoming rites” of the Civil Law-based fraternity Aegis Juris a day before.

On Oct. 24, former Aegis Juris Secretary Marc Anthony Ventura, accompanied by his mother and lawyer, went to the Department of Justice and shared what he knew about Castillo’s case. Ventura was placed under the Witness Protection Program.

Aligan told the Thomasian community that law and morality are “never the same.”

“What is legal is not necessarily moral and morality is the goodness or the evilness of an action,” he said.

The Mass held at the Tan Yan Kee Chapel was attended by Artlets and the officials of the Faculty.

Pray for suspects’ surrender

In another Mass for the 40th day since the death of Castillo, University of Santo Tomas Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. urged the Thomasian community to pray for the surrender of the suspects in the death of the 22-year-old law freshman.

“Let us appeal to their conscience and to that little goodness, that they may value their faith as Thomasians,” Dagohoy said in his homily on Oct. 27.

A candle-lighting ceremony was held for Castillo and other departed Thomasians after the Mass.

Lorna Kapunan, lawyer of the Castillo family, said the 40th day of Castillo signifies that they are “wiser” than the first day of the case because of the pieces of evidence that came to them.

“[T]he family’s relying that there would be level-playing field because of the powerful people involved,” Kapunan said. “Maraming salamat sa state witness natin if he qualifies as a state witness. We hope that there will be more to come.” F – Luis Miguel B. Arucan, Ali Ian Marcelino V. Biong, Janyn Mariella Montealegre and Angelique Anne F. Torres with reports from Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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