University of Santo Tomas has kicked out eight law students allegedly involved in the fatal hazing of freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo last September.
A committee formed by UST to investigate the death of Castillo yesterday announced the decision to expel the students in a statement through the official student publication “The Varsitarian.”
The España, Manila-based school did not disclose the names of the eight students.
The committee “found the eight law students guilty of violating the Code of Conduct and Discipline and imposing the supreme penalty of expulsion.”
The panel formed right after Castillo died is composed of six administrators and a representative from the Central Student Council. It is responsible for conducting hearings in the presence of representatives from the Legal Education Board.
According to the panel, due process was observed during their investigation of Castillo’s death.
“It observed the due process requirements under university policies and pertinent LEB guidelines. It shall continue its investigation until all students who were involved in the hazing incident are held administratively liable,” the committee said.
It added that they closely coordinated with the Manila Police District and National Bureau of Investigation, leading to the early identification of those involved and filing of charges before the Department of Justice.
“It submitted reports and pertinent documents to LEB, Philippine Senate, and Commission on Higher Education. It sent authorized representatives to the Senate hearings,” the panel said.
Due to the incident, the university last October conducted a campus-wide seminar for organization advisers and student leaders on the Anti-Hazing Law through the Office for Student Affairs.
The seminar recommended a comprehensive review of the handbook and the accreditation process for organizations. It also issued a temporary prohibition on the recruitment and all other activities of all fraternities and sororities in UST.
“The University reiterates its commitment to ferret out the truth, determine liability, and impose the appropriate sanctions. In the eucharistic celebrations held at the UST Faculty of Civil Law, at the Santuario de San Antonio during the wake, and at the UST chapel during the day of mourning for the death of Horacio, UST has always been one with the Castillo family in the steadfast call for everyone to pray and work together to achieve justice for Horacio and for truth to prevail,” the panel said.
Castillo, 22, was found dead by his parents in a morgue in Manila after attending the initiation rites of Aegis Juris, a law-school based fraternity. (Dhel Nazario)
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