Atio Castillo's dad says Aegis Juris fratmen merely 'buying time'
MANILA, Philippines – "They're just buying time."
This was how Horacio Castillo Jr – father of hazing victim Horacio "Atio" Castillo III – explained why Aegis Juris members kept invoking their right against self-incrimination during a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday, October 18.
"That's understandable di ba kasi 'pag may sinabi sila (because if they say something)… They're just buying time, they're just buying time," he told reporters after the hearing.
Senate public order committee chair Panfilo Lacson himself said the members "abused" the invocation given that the senators asked "very simple questions answerable by yes or no."
"Sobrang abused. 'Di na nga self-incriminatory ini-invoke pa rin ang right against self-incrimination... Hindi ito magje-jeopardize sa kanila in terms of incriminating themselves. And yet they keep on invoking that basic right against self-incrimination," the senator explained.
(It's very abused. It's not even self-incriminatory anymore but they still invoked the right against self-incrimination… This will not jeopardize them in terms of incriminating themselves. And yet they keep on invoking that basic right against self-incrimination.)
The Senate committee cited Aegis Juris leader Arvin Balag in contempt for evading questions during Wednesday's hearing.
Also on Wednesday, Manila Police District director Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel said that based on chat messages among members, it appeared that the fraternity intended to cover up the incident.
Horacio Jr said they still have to consult lawyers regarding the filing of charges against said members. Aegis Juris member and University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, meanwhile, said those involved with the cover up "should be penalized accordingly."
"As I said, we will never condone a cover up, anyone who's part of which will be penalized," he added.
Horacio Jr believes they have a strong case, considering how things are going during the Senate hearings. But he admitted that he also pitied the members involved in the killing of his son.
"Siyempre naaawa ka rin sa kanila kasi their lives are over. Wala na. You think magiging mga lawyers pa sila? 'Di na, tapos na buhay nila. Will you hire them as lawyers in the future knowing kung ano 'yung ginawa nila?" he added.
(Of course you pity them too because their lives are over. It's over. You think they will still be lawyers? They won't be lawyers anymore, their lives are over. Will you hire them as lawyers in the future knowing what they did?) – Rappler.com