CHED ‘strongly condemns’ death of Horacio Castillo III
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) condemned the killing of University Santo Tomas (UST) freshman law student Horacio Castillo III due to alleged hazing by the Aegis Juris fraternity.
CHED chairperson Patricia Licuanan made the statement when Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri asked for CHED's stand is on the controversial death during the agency's budget hearing at the Senate on Thursday, September 21. (READ: Senate to probe UST law student's death due to hazing)
Zubiri, a classmate of Castillo's father, Horacio Jr, delivered a privilege speech condemning the “brutal act” on Wednesday, September 20. (READ: Senate to probe UST law student's death due to hazing)
“First of all, let me just say that we condemn this act very strongly,” said Licuanan.
She then cited CHED Memorandum Order No 4, Series of 1995, which outlines preventive measures against violence and sanctions on fraternities and other student organizations.
Licuanan said CHED reiterates the memo’s provisions whenever a student dies due to hazing over the years.
The memo imposes automatic expulsion on any fraternity member for:
- starting or taking the offensive action that clearly provokes violence
- carrying knives, sticks, pipes, guns, and other deadly weapons in schools
Fraternity officers found guilty of provoking violence will be suspended for 60 days. The CHED order also imposes a one-year suspension on a fraternity found to be guilty, and a permanent ban after the next offense.
“We have asked our regional office, the NCR (National Capital Region) regional office, to look into this very tragic event,” said Licuanan.
She added UST is yet to officially file a report to CHED, “but we should be expecting that soon.”
A good Samaritan supposedly found Castillo covered by a blanket on a pavement in Tondo, Manila, on September 17, and brought him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The good Samaritan – John Paul Solano – has been tagged as one of 3 suspects in the case. The Bureau of Immigration said one of the suspects had left the country. (READ: Facebook Messenger chat may give clues to Castillo's death) – Rappler.com