THE Department of Justice has created a hotline where anyone who had any information or knowledge on the hazing death this month of University of Santo Tomas law freshman Horacio Castillo III may call to tell authorities what they know.
“To those who know anything about what happened to Horacio Castillo III, if you were there when it happened, then you have blood on your hands, time to wash it with the truth and with justice for Atio,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said in a statement during the weekend.
Tips and information about Castillo’s death may be sent to the “Horacio Hotline” via mobile number 0995-442-9241.
In his statement, Aguirre said those involved in the hazing incident who had remained silent “have already imprisoned yourself.”
“We are waiting for your call, do no injustice, suffer no injustice,” Aguirre said, emphasizing the motto of the Aegis Juris Fraternity which was tagged in Castillo’s killing.
“Hiding will not do you any good. Running from the truth is like being locked up in a jail with no bars,” Aguirre added.
Meanwhile, Filipinos in Chicago and the Midwestern part of the United States have been urged to report to law enforcement authorities any sightings of Ralph Trangia, one of the suspects in Castillo’s death.
Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, chairman of the House Committee on Public Information, called on Filipinos living in the area to practice their “civic duty” to help authorities locate Trangia.
Together with his mother, Trangia fled the country for Chicago via Taiwan on Sept. 19, a day before Aguirre issued a lookout bulletin for the members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity linked to Castillo’s death.
There are 12,684 registered Filipino overseas voters in Chicago, according to the Philippine consulate in the city.
Herrera-Dy also called for the suspension of the passports of all the suspects in Castillo’s death.
“The movements of these suspects in the tortuous hazing of Castillo must be severely curtailed so that they can be found and arrested,” Dy said in a press release on Saturday.
“They must not be allowed to elude arrest and prosecution to the fullest extent of our laws,” she added.
John Paul Solano, the principal suspect in Castillo’s death, is now in police custody, and could face charges for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law and for perjury after initially giving a “false statement” to the police, Manila Police District spokesman Supt. Erwin Margarejo told reporters Friday.
Castillo, 22, died last weekend in fraternity initiation rites after suffering “massive injuries.”
The DoJ had offered protection for witnesses in the fatal hazing incident.
Aguirre, meanwhile, said Friday that some senior members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity were preventing those present at Castillo’s initiation from speaking out.
UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, who founded the Aegis Juris Fraternity in 1979, vowed to seek justice for Castillo.
In a statement, Aegis Juris said its members who were involved in Castillo’s death were ready to submit themselves to investigations by the Senate and National Bureau of Investigation.