UST law dean Nilo Divina, an alumnus of the fraternity, claimed in a statement that he had taken a “leave of absence” since he assumed the deanship 8 years ago. This, according to him, was intended to signify that he would no longer actively participate in the fraternity’s activities.
“As Dean of the entire Faculty of Civil Law, I knew that I had to remove any vestige or potential source of negative perceptions of partiality on my part,” he said in a statement to media.
In a text message sent to Rappler, Divina also explained that his leave of absence meant that he is no longer an active alumnus.
“I do not attend their functions. I am not aware of their projects and activities except those officially reported to the office,” he said.
A photo sent to Rappler by an anonymous source, however, tends to cast doubt on the dean’s claims.
In the photo, the dean is seen on a basketball court with members of Aegis Juris. The source, who had access to the photo, said it was taken between the years 2012 to 2013 – disproving Divina’s claim that he has not actively participated in any of the fraternity’s activities for 8 years.
Asked about the photo, Divina said in a text message that the photo was actually taken 4 years ago in a goodwill basketball game between members of the Aegis Juris fraternity and associates of his law firm, Divina Law.
He said he only played for his firm’s basketball team.
Parents of Horacio Castillo III had previously said their son was encouraged to join the Aegis Juris fraternity after learning that the dean himself was a member of it. Horacio Jr, the victim’s father, said his son assured him that the fraternity does not do hazing.
Members of Aegis Juris are currently barred from entering the UST campus as the probe on Horacio’s death continues. – Rappler