Saturday, January 4, 2020

Bail denied for 10 fratmen accused in Atio Castillo's hazing death

The bail plea of 10 Aegis Juris fraternity members for the hazing murder case of University of Santo Tomas Law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III has been denied by a Manila court.

Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 Presiding Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali ruled that "[u]pon the facts and evidence presented by the prosecution, the Court finds the evidence of guilt of each of the accused strong," read the order dated Dec. 10, 2019, but released to the media on Friday.
The petition submitted by then Aegis Juris head Arvin Balag was subsequently junked. The accused, consisting of Balag, Mhin Wei Chan, Axel Munro Hipe, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Ralph Trangia, Robin Ramos, Jose Miguel Salamat, Danielle Hans Matthew and Marcelino Bagtang, will remain detained at the Manila City Jail for the trial.

The presence and role of each in the September 2017 initiation rites was established through evidence like the testimony of fraternity brother Mark Ventura. If found guilty of violating the Anti-Hazing Law (Republic Act 8049) with a fatal result, the ten fraternity men will face up to 40 years in prison. A separate Manila court previously convicted Aegis Juris member John Paul Solano for obstruction of justice.

Solano brought Castillo to the hospital and later claimed he found the victim on a sidewalk. However, he was acquited of perjury and is now sentenced up to four years, two months and one day in prison.