Basing it on the evidence gathered and presented during the public hearings conducted by the Senate on the Atio hazing case, the DOJ panel may have overlooked or disregarded the cover-up angle committed by the other frat members not included in the indictment.
The pieces of evidence like the authenticated contents of the group chat participated in by clearly identified members and officers, the video footages and other documents should have been enough for the DOJ to find probable cause to also charge them for being accessories after the fact at the very least.
A measure providing harsher penalties against hazing and attempts at cover-up passed the bicameral conference committee level on Feb. 28, 2018.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs that produced the Senate version of the measure, led the Senate contingent. Leading the House contingent was Justice Committee chairman Rep. Reynaldo Umali.
Voting 19-0, the Senate approved on third and final reading Senate Bill 1662, which imposes heavier penalties on hazing and attempts to cover up the crime. The Senate also adopted the findings and recommendations of the Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs on the hazing death of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.
The Senate adopted the findings and recommendations of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on the hazing death of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III. It also approved on second reading Senate Bill 1662, which provides heavier penalties against hazing and attempts at cover-up.
Pagkatapos imbestigahan ang pagkamatay ni Horacio “Atio” Castillo III dulot ng hazing, inirekomenda ng komite ni Sen. Lacson sa Korte Suprema na i-disbar ang mga abogadong miyembro ng Aegis Juris fraternity, kabilang si Dean Nilo Divina. Ipinaalala rin ng komite na hindi maaaring manatiling tahimik ang pamunuan ng University of Santo Tomas sa hazing.
Mr. President, sometime in September 2017, Horacio “Atio” Castillo III was offered the promise of mutual support and brotherhood by the Aegis Juris Fraternity not only during his tenure as a law student at the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil law, but also during the Bar review and even in his future practice of the legal profession.
Apart from the guarantees made known to him, Atio decided to join the fraternity with a specific goal in mind, to discover his real purpose in life. Little did he know that his search for purpose would cost him his own life.