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Horacio’s parents give DNA samples

By JAIMIE ROSE R. ABERIA • JEFFREY G. DAMICOG

The parents of hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III gave yesterday DNA samples to the Manila Police District (MPD) for comparison with the pieces of evidence found during the search at Aegis Juris fraternity library in Sampaloc, Manila, Thursday.

MPD Director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said Horacio Jr. and Carminia underwent DNA, blood and fiber trace examinations and fingerprinting.

Coronel also said he gave the parents an update on their search.

“We informed them of the status of the search operations in the fraternity library and we told them what particular items and objects we have recovered,” Coronel said.

He said they also showed them objects for their identification, but did not confirm if the parents positively identified the belongings of their son.

Asked if they would also get samples from John Paul Solano, one of the primary suspects, Coronel said he will leave it to the decision of the Department of Justice and his lawyers.

“That depends on the cooperation he will extend to this investigation,” he said.

MPD spokesperson Erwin Margarejo earlier confirmed that joint operatives of the Homicide Section, Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), and District Special Operation Unit found substantial forensic and object evidence inside the library, believed to be the site of Atio’s hazing rites.

A source, however, said among the evidence found by police were paddles, rugs, and bottles of alcohol.

University of Santo Tomas (UST) Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, on the other hand, said he is considering resigning from the fraternity to express his feelings and stand against violence.

“It’s contrary to what I believe in, contrary to what I stand for. I’m a man of peace,” Divina said in a television interview. “I am against violence and I attend mass every day.”

Coronel said Divina is also a subject of their investigation and that he is cooperating with authorities.

“We are scheduled to meet him and other members of the UST faculty concerning this matter,” Coronel said.

GOV’T PROTECTION
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the family of Castillo can be placed under the protective coverage of the Witness Protection Program (WPP).

“Anybody na gustong magpa-ilalim sa protective coverage ng WPP ay pag-aaralan natin ‘yan and, if qualified, ibibigay natin,” Aguirre said.

The secretary said he learned from a relative of the family that they are concerned about their personal safety but declined to give more details.

“Meron daw sinasabi nung isang kamag-anak nila ayaw ko na lang sabihin,” he said.

Aguirre met the Castillo family on Thursday and has set them up to meet President this October 4.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the family of hazing victim Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III can be placed under the protective coverage of the Witness Protection Program (WPP).

“Anybody na gustong magpa-ilalim sa protective coverage ng WPP ay pag-aaralan natin ‘yan and, if qualified, ibibigay natin,” Aguirre said.

The secretary said he learned from a relative of the family that they are concerned about their personal safety but declined to give more details.

“Meron daw sinasabi nung isang kamag-anak nila ayaw ko na lang sabihin,” he said.

Aguirre met the Castillo family on Thursday and has set them up to meet President this Oct. 4.

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