June 22, 2018, 12:45 pm
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8 UST Aegis Juris brods out!

UST has finally, finally allowed truth to prevail in expelling eight civil law students; its panel will continue its investigation “until all students who were involved in the hazing incident are held administratively liable.” UST should have not used the word incident. A person’s death is not an incident. The murder of law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo 3rd in the hands of the UST Aegis Juris fraternity members is not an incident. It is a tragedy. 

Malacañang hailed the expulsion of the eight students, adding that the guilty must also face criminal prosecution. “We think it’s the right step forward. Expelling them sends the message that our schools will not tolerate violence on our campuses,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing. Roque stressed that this was only the beginning. “They will have to face criminal prosecution for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.”

The Senate Committee on Public Order previously recommended the expulsion of UST Law Dean Nilo Divina and other alumni of the Aegis Juris Fraternity over the fatal hazing of Castillo. Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate panel, called on the Supreme Court to discipline Divina and 17 other Aegis Juris members for their “grossly immoral conduct.” The report submitted by the panel said the conduct shown by the Aegis Juris lawyers were “against the decency expected from lawyers, and a mockery of the legal profession.” The eight Aegis Juris Fraternity members expelled were found guilty by UST of violating UST’s Code of Conduct and Discipline, not for the initiation murder of Castillo.

Interested parties questioned UST’s game plan for withholding the names of eight guilty members of Aegis Juris. The mother Minnie Castillo, said it was important for the family to know those expelled as it would help her son’s case. The family also wants to find out the rules the law students violated because this would establish that the hazing really took place. The expulsion was a smoke screen “to show that the university was doing something about my son’s case.” UST refused to reach out to the Castillo family. UST did its first ever action since the death only because the Castillo family had announced its plan to file a complaint in the Vatican over UST’s indifference “We would still file a complaint because UST refused to cooperate during the investigation. UST gave the Manila Police District (MPD) a hard time.” Chief Superintendent Joel Coronel, MPD director, confirmed Minnie Castillo’s statement. Said the university cooperation during the investigation was only “very minimal.” 

UST sent a representative only once, university’s lawyer, Al Verzosa, turned out to be a fraternity brother of all the accused. The school’s lawyer was a member of Aegis Juris, Minnie and MPD statements debunked the claim made by UST that it “closely coordinated with the MPD and the National Bureau of Investigation.

They even refused to properly entertain the investigators. UST gave  investigators a hard time. UST is taking action because we are planning to file a complaint against them in the Vatican.” Minnie stressed that as parents, they had every right to be informed and updated about their son’s case.

The UST statement came a week after Minnie criticized UST’s “deafening silence” on the results of the Senate report that recommended that UST take action against members of Aegis Juris, including lawyer Nilo Divina, the dean of its College of Law. UST claimed the committee was formed on Sept. 19, days after Atio’s death. But Minnie said UST never informed her family. And when the committee decided on the expulsion, Atio’s parents said the university did not bother to inform them. “Why weren’t we informed when it involved our son?” They learned about the expulsion when a journalist called them as they sat visiting their son’s grave. The family said they are only awaiting the resolution of the case in the Department of Justice before making their next move

It is relevant to reprint my 7-year old column (March 30, 2011) today: 

The Anti-hazing Law of 1995 is apparently unknown to the president of the University of Iloilo and its fraternities. Its frat, Kapatiran ng mga Kabataang Kriminolohiya—Brotherhood of Young Criminologists is oblivious of this law. Because of this ignorance or indifference, one sophomore, frat applicant Menardo Clamucha Jr., 18, is dead from the hazing style of 25 alumni and students of this frat KKK of U Iloilo’s Criminology Department. 

NBI-6 Director Efren Meneses released a statement that the recruits were repeatedly hit with a wooden paddle, kicked and punched, and subjected to various forms of attacks and humiliation. Flordeliza Medianero, mother of one of the frat members, and her husband offered the backyard of their house as venue for the initiation rites. The hazing and murder lasted until past midnight while the Medianero family slept? 

Clamucha Jr. ended up dead from this maltreatment of those he had hoped would be his frat brothers. Civilized institutions have long ago eradicated this Filipino fraternities’ gladiator-style of brotherhood-to-the-death. Philippine university leadership passively looks on at their scholars’ entertainment, tolerating such, under the benign term of initiation.

University presidents and chancellors must like this activity, for why else these too frequent violence of frat wars, and death among neophytes, as evidenced by this latest tragedy at the University of Iloilo this month? (Malaya Business Insight, March 30, 2011)

***

Dahliaspillera@yahoo.com
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