Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday welcomed the decision of the Senate to release the testimony of Aegis Juris fratman John Paul Solano over the death of hazing victim Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III.
In a text message, Aguirre said that Solano’s testimony will be used as part of the evidence in the Department of Justice ongoing preliminary investigation.
“It is good so it will be considered as part of the evidence in the case,” said Aguirre in a text message.
The DOJ is currently conducting a preliminary investigation on the criminal complaints filed by Atio’s parents and the Manila Police District against those involved in the death of the University of Santo Tomas law student.
Solano has been named as a respondent in the complaints.
Senator Panfilo Lacson made an assurance that the the Senate will release today [October 18] the transcript of Solano’s testimony that he made in a closed-door Senate executive session last Sept. 25.
The Senate had already issued a resolution to release Solano’s testimony after the fratman failed to deliver his promise to issue a sworn affidavit detailing what happened and who were present during the Aegis Juris initiation rites that Castillo had undergone.
Solano was given until Oct. 16 by the Senate to submit his sworn affidavit which he failed to do.
“Solano, during the executive session and in the presence of counsel, divulged vital information that will help the authorities solve the case, prosecute the culprits, and give justice to the death of Atio Castillo,” the resolution read.
Police investigators said Castillo was brought on the morning of September 17 to the Chinese General Hospital by one of the suspects, Aegis Juris fratman John Paul Solano, using a red Mitsubishi Strada with plate number ZTV-539.
The vehicle was later found to be registered to Antonio Trangia, father of Aegis Juris fratman Ralph Trangia.
Solano, a medical technologist, earlier pretended to be a concerned citizen who claimed that he found Castillo slumped on a sidewalk in Tondo.
He later confessed in the hearing that Aegis Juris members ordered him to lie in his report to the police.
Trangia, on the other hand, is among the 18 persons who are facing charges of murder, perjury, obstruction of justice, robbery and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law complaints filed by the MPD in connection to Castillo’s death.
Charges were also filed against Trangia’s parents and officials of the UST Faculty of Civil Law in relation to the case.
Trangia’s father, Antonio, is among the respondents in the murder, perjury, obstruction of justice, robbery and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law charges while his mother, Rosemarie, is facing an obstruction of justice complaint.