BY KRISTINE AGUSTIN AND JUSTIN LIM
THE MANILA Regional Trial Court (RTC) turned down the bail petition of 10 main suspects in the hazing-slay of UST freshman law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III due to “strong” evidence of guilt.
The 10 Aegis Juris fratmen denied bail were Arvin Balag, Mhin Wei Chan, Axel Munro Hipe, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Ralph Trangia, Robin Ramos, Jose Miguel Salamat, Marcelino Bagtang Jr. and Danielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law ordered on Dec. 10 by presiding Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali.
The Manila RTC Branch 20 ruling states that the accused, according to witness Mark Ventura, were present during the fraternity rites, considered as an act of participation as stated in the Anti-Hazing Law unless they had prevented the crime.
Moreover, the court is not convinced that the injuries inflicted during the hazing is not the cause of Castillo’s death.
The court believes that the blows delivered during the hazing contributed to the death of Castillo regardless of his pre- existing ailment bears criminal liability.
The 10 Aegis Juris fraternity members surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation on March 23, 2018 before being admitted to the Manila City Jail on May 23 of the same year by order of the presiding judge.
Castillo was found dead on Sept. 17, 2017 in Tondo, Manila due to hematoma on both his upper arms, bruises and drips of candle wax found on different parts of his body. F