Hazing death rocks Philippines’ oldest Catholic university

Horacio Tomas Castillo III was found unconscious on a street corner on Sunday morning and taken to hospital.

Police and administrators at the oldest Catholic university in the Philippines are investigating the death of a law student during a fraternity hazing [initiation] rite.

The victim sustained hematoma on both arms, and several abrasions and hint of candle drops in the different parts of his body.

In a department order issued yesterday (September 19), the Secretary said “the National Bureau of Investigation, through Director Dante A. Gierran, is hereby directed and granted authority to conduct investigation and case build-up over the death of UST law student Horacio Castillo III, who died in suspected frat hazing, and if evidence warrants, to file appropriate charges thereon”. They later received an anonymous text message telling them to go the Chinese General Hospital in Manila.

Horacio Castillo III’s father requests the media to give the family privacy as they mourn for the death of their only son.

The family said Horacio left Saturday morning to attend Aegis Juris fraternity’s overnight welcoming ceremony at UST and was supposed to be home Sunday morning.

“He told me the fraternity he was joining doesn’t do hazing”. He died alone, without the family.

Aguirre himself is member of a fraternity, Lex Talionis of San Beda College law school, along with President Rodrigo Duterte.

The enactment of Republic Act 8049 (antihazing law) in 1995 appears to do nothing to stop the often violent and abusive traditions created to admit new members into organizations, fraternities and sororities.

“You recruited our son. We thought it would do him good”, the victim’s mother said.

A brief statement from the Aegis Juris fraternity expressed sorrow for “the unfortunate incident” and pledged to cooperate in criminal and administrative investigations.

“We condemn in no uncertain terms hazing in any form or manner. Violence has no place in an academic institution, particularly in the UST that values and promotes charity and compassion”, Assoc. Prof.

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