By JEFFREY G. DAMICOG, JAIMIE ROSE ABERIA
The Manila Police District (MPD) filed yesterday criminal complaints before the Department of Justice (DoJ) against Aegis Juris fraternity member John Paul Solano and at least 17 others over the death of University of Sto. Tomas (UST) law student Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III.
Solano, the only suspect under police custody, was subjected to inquest proceedings at the DoJ for murder in violation of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law; perjury, obstruction of justice, and robbery.
Included in murder and robbery charges were Aegis Juris member Ralph Trangia and his parents Antonio and Rosemarie, Arvin Balag, Mhin Wei Chan, Ranie Refael Santiago, Olier John Audrey Onofre, Jason Adolfo Robinos, Danielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo, Karl Matthew Villanueva, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Axel Munro Hipe, Marc Anthony Ventura, Aeron Salientes, Marcelino Bagtang, Zimon Padro, and Jose Miguel Salamat.
The MPD also included other unidentified members of the Aegis Juris fraternity and its sorority Regina.
Solano surrendered to the MPD last Friday, almost a week after the 22-year-old Aegis Juris neophyte died.
Manila police assured the safety of Solano while in their custody.
“We can assure the safety of Mr. John Paul Solano, na habang nasa custody po siya MPD Homicide Section ay safe and sound po siya,” MPD spokesperson Supt. Erwin Margarejo said.
Margarejo explained that Solano was slapped with robbery complaint because Castillo’s cellphone and wallet are missing.
Meanwhile, Paterno Esmaquel, Solano’s lawyer, asked the DoJ to dismiss the complaint and order Solano’s release.
He explained that there is no complex crime of murder and violation of the anti-hazing law and his client was illegally detained considering that the latter was not a subject of warrantless arrest.
Margarejo, however, explained that Solano is not a detainee, but a person under custody.
“He is also not in a detention cell, but a temporary custodial facility,” Margarejo said.
Solano, who was first known as the “good samaritan” who brought Castillo to the hospital, is now one of the primary suspects. He surrendered to the MPD through Sen. Panfilo Lacson last Friday.
MPD investigators learned that Solano brought Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital using a red Mitsubishi Strada with plate number ZTV-539.
The vehicle was found registered to Antonio Trangia, who is also a member of the fraternity.
Ralph Trangia and his mother Rosemarie left the country last September 19 for the United States.
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