By ANGEL B. DUKHA III
THE TIME has come for the wounds from the hazing case of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III to heal, said UST Secretary General Fr. Jesus Jay Miranda O.P. during a memorial service held on Monday for the first death anniversary of the Civil Law freshman.
Castillo died last year after undergoing the initiation rites of the Aegis Juris fraternity.
“After a year, don’t you think it’s about time that total healing would already happen? Time heals wounds […] It could be healed through prayers and it can also be healed if justice will be served to those responsible for such an abominable incident,” Miranda said.
The Secretary-General added that the Castillo family was not the only one who was “hurt” by the incident but the University as well.
“A deep and painful wound was inflicted on the family of Atio. I don’t think that only his family that was hurt, but I think even the University [was],” he said.
Miranda also urged Thomasians to reexamine their values in light of the hazing incident.
“[S]uch unfortunate and painful events should make us reflect deeply on our core as Thomasians and as a University. We need to go back to our revered values as a Catholic institution,” he said.
Present at the event was Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina who said he still feels the pain of losing a son a year after the death of Castillo.
“Up to now, we feel the pain of loss […] I perceived Atio as a son because he was a former student of our faculty, and as the dean of our Faculty of Civil Law, I am the father. So in that sense, I consider it a loss also in my part,” Divina lamented.
“For [Atio’s] family, I pray for discernment, for peace, and for healing and that we hope and pray we can leave this behind us and emerge as a [better] institution,” he added.
Divina clarified that he reached out to the parents of Castillo but said circumstances made it hard to communicate with them.
“It’s a very awkward position, as you know, because they filed cases against me. They also were responsible for the disbarment complaint against me. I tried to reach out to the lawyer, but unfortunately [that] did not produce the result we would want. But be assured that I keep on praying for them,” he said.
The memorial service organized by the Faculty of Civil Law Student Council was held at the Santisimo Rosario Chapel. F