MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Monday, September 18, he will order the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to "investigate the death of University of Santo Tomas law student, Horacio Tomas Castillo III, allegedly due to hazing.”
He said the Department of Justice (DOJ) "condemns any act of senseless violence committed against our youth and against any innocent person for that matter.”
Castillo's body was found Sunday morning, September 17, covered by a blanket on a pavement in Tondo, Manila. His body had bruises and candle wax drippings, leading his parents to believe he died in the initiation hazing rites of Aegis Juris Fraternity.
The Manila police has not confirmed that the death of the law student was caused by hazing injuries, but says the angle is being especially investigated.
In a statement, Aguirre echoed the sentiment of a number of social media users that brotherhood, which fraternities claim to foster, does not entail violence.
"Deaths and physical injuries due to hazing have no place in a civilized society. The loss of a life should never be the price that one should pay for brotherhood and acceptance,” the justice secretary said. "The persons responsible for this senseless death should be brought to justice."
He offered the Castillo family his condolences and any possible assistance from the DOJ.
"As a parent myself, I feel their loss and anguish. We will endeavor to see to it that those who are responsible will be held accountable to the full extent of the law,” he said.