Filipino law student killed in fraternity hazing

Photo from DZMM TeleRadyo reporter Lyza Aquino’s Twitter @LyzaAquinoDZMM
Photo from DZMM TeleRadyo reporter Lyza Aquino’s Twitter @LyzaAquinoDZMM

A first-year University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student was found dead on Sunday; the Manila Police District (MPD) confirmed today that the death was caused by fraternity hazing.

The victim, 22-year-old Horacio Castillo III, was brought to the university campus in Manila by his parents on Saturday. He was to go to class and attend the welcoming rites of Aegis Juris, a fraternity recognized by the school.

The student’s mother Carmina Castillo told that his son texted him at 9pm on Saturday and said that he was with his fraternity brothers and that he will be home the next day, but Horacio never returned.

Horacio’s parents were notified by an anonymous text message that their son was at the Chinese General Hospital in Manila. Their son was found by a resident in Tondo, Manila, early Sunday morning and he was declared dead on arrival at the hospital, ABS-CBN News reported.

The student’s father, Horacio Castilo Jr., said during the ABS-CBN morning show Umagang Kay Ganda that his son had a hematoma, a damaged upper arm, and marks from cigarette burns and candle wax.

Carmina told that their son died from cardiac arrest caused by the injuries.

In a text message to the Philippine Star, Nilo Divina, the dean of UST’s Faculty of Civil Law said that they were not made aware of the fraternity event Horacio attended. “It was not coordinated with the faculty. We are not aware of such event. We do not involve ourselves in activities of any fraternity,” he said.

Horacio’s death has caused an uproar online, making #JusticeForHoracio and “Aegis Juris” trending topics on Twitter.

A statement released today by the UST Faculty of Civil Law says that all officers and members of the Aegis Juris fraternity are suspended and will not be allowed to enter the campus or attend class. The statement says that an investigation on the incident will be conducted.

RA 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law, enacted in 1995, states that “No hazing or initiation rites in any form or manner by a fraternity, sorority or organization shall be allowed without prior written notice to the school authorities or head of organization seven (7) days before the conduct of such initiation.”

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