DOJ to finish probe on Atio's hazing death by December

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 15 2017 04:36 PM | Updated as of Nov 15 2017 04:55 PM

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MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) eyes ending its preliminary investigation into the alleged hazing death of University of Santo Tomas law freshman Horacio "Atio" Castillo III before the year ends.

Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva said the panel of prosecutors will come up with a resolution on the case before Christmas.

The case of Atio's death is currently undergoing preliminary investigation at the DOJ. The complainants and respondents have already submitted their sworn statements.

The 22-year-old student died after undergoing initiation rites of the Aegis Jvris fraternity in September in Sampaloc, Manila.

Fraternity members John Paul Solano and Arvin Balag, among those charged for Castillo's death, insisted in their counter-affidavits that the neophyte died of a pre-existing heart condition, not hazing, citing a medico legal report.

Police, however, said Solano and Balag used a "provisional anatomic diagnosis" as their basis, and that the final medico legal report shows that Castillo had died of "severe blunt traumatic injuries." 

Marc Ventura, another fraternity member, meanwhile claimed he was present during Castillo's hazing. He said the neophyte collapsed after 5 paddle hits. Balag, he claimed, did not want to bring Atio to a nearby hospital. 

--report from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News