Solano names fratmen he saw the morning Atio Castillo was killed
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Senate released on Wednesday, October 18, the testimony of John Paul Solano recounting the morning Horacio Castillo III was killed.
He gave his testimony on September 25. In his effort to clear his name with the confidentiality shared with senators, Solano that time did not hesitate to name his brothers in the Aegis Juris fraternity. They are:
- Oliver John Audrey "Ojay" Onofre
- Axel Munro Hipe
- Arvin Balag
- Mark Anthony Ventura
- Zack Abulencia
- Dan Ragos
Onofre, Hipe, Balag, and Ventura's names checked off with the list of names filed with criminal charges by the Manila Police District (MPD).
Solano also named 1 non-fraternity member, Romeo Laboga, the family driver of the Trangias who helped bring Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital.
All 6 members mentioned by Solano were present in the Senate hearing. They invoked their right against self-incrimination and refused to answer senators’ questions.
Solano also revealed that Balag was the head of the fraternity. Solano said it was Balag who asked him to lie by telling authorities that he just saw Castillo sprawled on the road in Balut, Tondo.
Checking their names against the leaked screen captures of the chatbox which plotted the supposed hazing, killing, and coverup of Castillo's death, only Hipe and Balag's had names that matched. (READ: Facebook Messenger chat may give clues to Castillo's hazing death)
How are they involved?
It started with a call which woke up Solano at 6:30 am on September 17. It was Ojay Onofre.
“I answered the telephone call of Onofre who told me that there was an emergency and that he needed me [at the fraternity library],” Solano said.
Having just woke up, Solano said he declined and Onofre just said “Okay.” (READ: IN PHOTOS: What SOCO found inside the Aegis Juris frat house)
Onofre called him again from around 7:10 to 7:15 am, this time, “begging” that Solano go to the library.
“I asked him why he called me and he told me that someone collapsed,” he said. This time he listened to Onofre, arriving at the library at around 8:10 to 8:15 am.
There, he tried to open the entrance door straightaway but it was locked.
He knocked, with Axel Hipe opening the door for him. Solano asked Hipe what happened and Hipe said Castillo collapsed. He was lying face down on the floor of their frat house.
Solano said he did not know Castillo.
Inside the library, Solano said he also saw Arvin Balag, Mark Ventura, Zack, and Dan.
Solano said he checked for Castillo's pulse and felt that “it was very weak”.
He said he then administered CPR with the help of Hipe. Solano did not wake him up.
At that point, Solano said he called all of them to bring Castillo to a hospital. He recalled Balag deciding to bring the unconscious boy to the Chinese General Hospital, instead of the nearby UST Hospital.
From there, a red pick-up truck arrived, later revealed to be owned by Ralph Trangia, to bring Castillo’s body. Solano said Trangia was not on the scene, and he did not recognize who drove their family's pick-up.
Hipe and Balag rode a black Fortuner, Solano on his motorcycle, and the rest supposedly in the pick-up.
When they arrived at the CGH, Solano said Balag instructed him to say that if anybody asks about Horacio, they will just say they found Horacio in Balut, Tondo.
Solano said he just followed because by that time he was already under tremendous pressure and stress. (READ: Solano claims Aegis Juris frat brother told him to lie to police)
He proceeded to the emergency room with the driver of the red pick-up to have Castillo admitted. Citing hospital policy, the personnel required at least one person to watch over Castillo.
Solano told Balag and Hipe about the rule, with Balag supposedly deciding that Solano would be the one to stay. Solano followed, reluctantly.
According to Solano, when the nurses brought Castillo inside the hospital, the red pick-up and the black Fortuner left the hospital premises, leaving him alone.
At the hospital, a worker asked Solano where he found Castillo. Sticking to their on-the-spot alibi, Solano said Tondo.
The personnel asked where in Tondo, to which Solano said Balut.
At the hospital, Castillo was finally declared dead. – Rappler.com