Solano claims police falsified his testimony on Castillo killing

Rambo Talabong
Lawyers of John Paul Solano say there was no qualified policeman to administer a sworn statement when Solano was brought in for questioning at the Manila Police District

FALSIFIED? John Paul Solano, the principal suspect in the killing of Horacio Castillo III in Manila Police District headquarters, Manila. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – John Paul Solano’s camp on Wednesday, October 3 accused the Manila Police District (MPD) of falsifying his testimony in the case of the killing of Horacio Castillo III.

In a motion to strike out filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) panel investigating Castillo’s death, Solano said that when he went to the MPD Homicide Division on September 17, there was no qualified cop to administer a sworn statement.

The only allowed officer was Senior Inspector Rommel Anicete, the head of the division, but according to Solano, the lawman was not there.

In the September 17 affidavit, Solano claimed that he just happened to see Castillo’s motionless body in a Tondo sidewalk and decided to assist him. It turned out, he was actually a member of the embattled Aegis Juris the fraternity suspected of having killed Castillo during hazing in its initiation rites. 

As proof, Solano took a photo of the contested affidavit before he left the police station—it did not contain the signature of Anicete. Solano and his camp were only surprised to see that the challenged document was used as basis to file criminal charges against him.

“All is told, it is a plain and simple falsification of public document and/or submission of false testimony and/or perjury for the complainants to submit and use as evidence in the instant complaints,” their plea read.

Their motion said Solano only saw Anicete after he surrendered on September 22 to Senator Panfilo Lacson, who brought him to the MPD the same day.

In addition, his lawyers claimed that when Solano was put for questioning to produce the affidavit, he was not informed about his right to counsel, answering the police without a lawyer.

With this, they asked the DOJ to strike out the affidavit from the pieces of evidence used against him.

Solano’s camp deferred filing his counter-affidavit to contest all of the MPD’s claims, as the police force’s legal team announced in the preliminary investigation proceeding on Wednesday that they have a supplemental complaint affidavit yet to be filed.

The reserved statement contains the names of Aegis Juris fratmen he saw the night Castillo was killed. (READ: Solano names 7 behind Atio Castillo’s death in executive session)

The next proceeding will be on October 9, Monday. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.