MANILA, Philippines – Police investigating the death of law student Horacio Castillo III found out Thursday, September 21, that the CCTV cameras around the building which housed the Aegis Juris fraternity office “were either destroyed or are not working anymore.”
Senior Inspector Rommel Anicete, chief of the homicide division of the Manila Police District (MPD), told Rappler he could not confirm if members of the fraternity were involved in destroying the cameras. He also added that they would be looking at the other CCTVs in the area.
The fraternity office is on Dapitan Street near the University of Santo Tomas (UST), where the Aegis Juris is a recognized fraternity.
Castillo was first-year law student of the UST Faculty of Civil Law who was declared dead on arrival when his body was brought to the Chinese General Hospital on Sunday morning, September 17. His parents believe his death was due to injuries sustained during hazing when he was initiated to the Aegis Juris fraternity.
On Wednesday, September 20, the MPD named 3 suspects in the killing. Among them was John Paul Solano, the person who claimed to have found Castillo wrapped in a blanket on a pavement in Balut, Tondo, Manila, and brought him to the hospital.
After further investigation, police found out Solano did not disclose that he was a member of Aegis Juris fraternity.
A second suspect, Ralph Trangia, identified by the MPD as an officer of the Aegis Juris, has reportedly left for Taipei on Tuesday, September 19, on Eva Air Flight BR262.
The 3rd suspect was Antonio Trangia, father of Ralph, who was the registered owner of the red Strada pick-up which brought Castillo’s body to Chinese General Hospital on Sunday, September 18. Solano had claimed he just flagged down the Strada when he wanted to bring Castillo to the hospital.
Anicete said the police had an ongoing manhunt for Solano and the elder Trangia.
MPD have searched the residences of the two suspects in Caloocan and Bulacan, respectively, but failed to catch any of them. A tip said Solano might be in Pampanga, but that too yielded negative, according to Anicete.
Philip Beltran, a security guard at the Chinese General Hospital, told police he saw Solano with the driver of the red Strada. Beltran, however, could not confirm if it was Ralph or Antonio Trangia.
“Continuous pa rin ang manhunt sa dalawa pang suspect,” said Anicete. (We will continue with our manhunt for the two suspects.)
In 2016, Anicete said, Ralph Trangia was “involved in a rumble” between Aegis Juris and members of another fraternity in UST.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice issued Wednesday, September 20, an immigration lookout bulletin order naming 16 members of the Aegis Juris.
Screenshots of a Facebook Messenger chat between supposed members of Aegis Juris have circulated online. It may give leads on Castillo’s fatal hazing. – Rappler