Senator Miguel Zubiri INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / EDWIN BACASMAS
“Ngayon naman ay hindi na ang Senado ang ginagago ni (John Paul) Solano kundi ginagago niya na ang buong Pilipinas.”
This was how Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri dismissed on Wednesday the statement of hazing suspect John Paul Solano, who claimed that University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III died of a pre-existing heart condition and not due to the injuries he sustained during the alleged Aegis Juris fraternity’s hazing rites last September 17.
Zubiri, who previously delivered a speech at the Senate that requested the investigation into Castillo’s killing, rejected Solano’s contention as mere excuses.
“Regardless of any pre-condition of which the parents completely deny, it’s obvious that they are just trying to find excuses for Atio’s murder,” the senator said in a statement.
“So how can they explain the discoloration of the body due to massive hematoma? How can they dispute the medico-legal finding of DNA of Atio on the paddle used by the Aegis Juris frat men of which is illegal to use under the anti-hazing Law?” he asked.
According to the senator, Solano’s claim did not only show a “massive disrespect” for Castillo and his family, but also an outright lie to protect his fraternity brothers.
“Their alibi clearly shows a massive disrespect for Atio, his family and the Filipino people. Does he even have proof of his statement being that Atio is an athlete football player of Colegio San Agustin,” Zubiri said.
“Clearly, Solano is lying through his teeth, covering up for his frat brods like a criminal syndicate member and he should be punished as well for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury for the Death of Atio Castillo,” he added.
On Tuesday afternoon, Solano, one of the primary suspects in Castillo’s death, claimed in his counter-affidavit that Castillo died of his pre-existing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
Thus, Solano asserted, he could not be held liable for Castillo’s death.
But Castillo’s parents, Horacio Jr. and Carminia, has denied that their son had any heart condition.
“He is a football player. He is very active,” Carminia said. “He is a football player. He is a goal keeper. Wala siyang sakit sa puso (He has no heart disease).”
Horacio Jr. said: “Alam nyo naman bago pumasok sa University kinukuhanan sila ng medical certificate (You know that before he entered the University, he was required of a medical certificate). He was given a clean bill of health by the school.”
“What led to my son’s death was because of blunt trauma coming from hazing that caused extreme pain and suffering to my son that caused maybe the heart attack,” he added.
READ: Atio Castillo died of pre-existing heart disease, not hazing, says suspect Solano
Solano is one of the 18 Aegis Juris fraternity members indicted for violating Section 4 of the Anti-Hazing Law, robbery, perjury, and obstruction of justice. /kga
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