By LUIS MIGUEL B. ARUCAN
THE PARENTS of hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III challenged Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina to act on his word and defend Atio “as a son.”
“Ilabas niya lahat ng frat members niya. If he really wants to defend Atio, come out. Ilabas niya lahat, all those who did wrong. Meron namang testimonya si Mark [Ventura]. Iniisa-isa naman niya,” Carmina told reporters after a trial on Tuesday.
Divina is a member of Aegis Juris, the fraternity responsible for Atio’s death last year. The dean was tagged in the fraternity’s cover-up of the killing. However, Divina has insisted that he is a “non-active member” due to his duties as Civil Law dean.
“Hindi niya (Atio) alam na may mangyayari sa kanyang masama. […] Naniwala siya talaga na walang mangyayari sa kanya because the dean himself is also a member of the Aegis Juris,” Horacio Jr. said.
‘Healing and justice’
Horacio Jr. welcomed the call of Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Jesus Miranda O.P. for “healing and justice” on Atio’s death during a memorial service on Monday, but asked how the University plans to achieve it.
READ: Time has come for wounds from Atio hazing case to heal, says Secretary-General
Carmina added that they will heal on their own time.
“Nobody can dictate to us when we will heal, when we will move on, when kami magbababang luksa. Kami ang nawalan. […] As I said before, panghabambuhay kaming magluluksa because we lost a very important part of our life,” Carmina said.
The parents also urged Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. himself to speak on the issue.
Horacio Jr. added that they sympathize with the parents of the ‘Aegis 10’ who are currently detained at the Manila City Jail.
“We are very cordial with the accused. May mga nagsi-smile. Merong naghe-hello. Don’t think na lahat galit. When we’re inside the courtroom, hindi lang naman civil. We’re human beings. […] It’s time for us to grow.”
Protect, not divide, UST
The Castillo parents said they recently asked the Vatican to investigate how the “Royal and Pontifical” University of Santo Tomas (UST) handled their son’s hazing case. However, they stressed that they do not intend to harm UST.
“Dapat ang tingnan natin is the next generation. If there are already proper guidelines, rules already in place, then we can better protect this good institution (UST),” Horacio Jr. said.
“My son, Atio, loved that university. We have a long line of graduates from UST […] We are not against UST but ang pinupuna namin diyan is the people running it now. Iba ‘yun,” he added
The trial was presided over by Judge Marivic Umali of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 at the Manila City Hall. The next trial will be on Sept. 25. F