January 24, 2018, 9:43 am
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DOJ reopens probe in Castillo hazing death

THE Justice Department has reopened the preliminary investigation into the hazing death of UST freshman law student Horatio “Atio” Castillo III.

Assistant Prosecution Attorney II Wendell Bendoval said the panel of prosecutors decided to reopen the preliminary probe to give way to the affidavit of suspect-turned-witness Marc Anthony Ventura, a member of the Aegis Juris Fraternity that allegedly conducted the hazing on Castillo.

Bendoval said the panel only received the affidavit last January 3. He said Ventura is set to appear today, Friday, during the reopening of the preliminary probe.

“In the interest of justice and in the observance of due process, the panel hereby moto proprio reopens the preliminary investigation of these complaints in order to give them the opportunity to submit their countervailing evidence,” said part of the order issued by the panel composed of Bendoval, Prosecution Attorney Honey Rose Delgado and Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva.

Bendoval said Ventura’s affidavit, which detailed what took place during the initiation rites of Castillo last September 17, 2017 as well as identifies those who are present in the rites, said the panel has to consider the evidence. 

Ventura’s testimony is vital to the prosecution since he is the only fraternity member who admitted that he participated in the hazing rites.

The DOJ had filed murder, violation of the anti-hazing law, perjury and obstruction of justice complaints against the respondents. – Ashzel Hachero
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