Driver of Aegis Juris fratman denies he drove Atio Castillo to hospital

Jee Y. Geronimo
Ralph Trangia's driver Romeo Laboga contradicts the claim of fraternity member John Paul Solano

DENIAL. Romeo Laboga, the driver of the Trangia family, says he was with his boss Antonio Trangia on the morning of September 17, 2017. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The family driver of Aegis Juris fratman Ralph Trangia denied on Monday, November 6, that he drove hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III to the hospital last September 17.

During the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, Romeo Laboga said he was with his “boss” Antonio Trangia on the morning of September 17 – the day Castillo died.

Aegis Juris member John Paul Solano earlier claimed that it was Laboga who was with him when they brought Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital on the morning of September 17. Antonio Trangia has since refuted this claim. 

“Ikaw nga ba ‘yung nagmaneho sa naging biktima? (Were you really the one who drove the victim [to the hospita])?” Senator Grace Poe asked Laboga on Monday.

“Hindi po (No),” Laboga answered.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian interjected and asked where exactly Laboga was at 5 am of September 17.

“Kasama ko po si boss sa shop (I was with my boss at the shop),” Laboga answered, referring to Antonio Trangia.

He said the shop called ERCT Tire Supply is located in Bancal, Meycauayan, Bulacan.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the committee, then asked Laboga about the kind of car he drives. The latter said he drives a Pajero.

Solano earlier said Castillo’s body was in a red Mitsubishi Strada.

“Never ka nakapagmaneho ng pulang pickup? Never mong nakita ‘yung pulang pickup? (You’ve never driven a red pickup? You’ve never seen a red pickup)?” the senator asked.

When Laboga answered yes to both questions, Lacson pointed out that the red Mitsubishi Strada belongs to the Trangia family.

Poe later said that she learned it was the driver of Arvin Balag – the leader or the Grand Praefectus of the fraternity – who drove the red pickup.

“Alam naman natin na ‘di sasagot si Mr Balag, pa-subpoena po natin ‘yung driver nila kung meron, para siya na lang magsalita (We know that Balag will not answer, so let’s issue a subpoena for the driver so that he can speak),” Poe added. 

Balag was cited in contempt during the previous Senate hearing. – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.