UST expels 8 law students for alleged involvement in ‘Atio’ case

Published February 18, 2018, 4:28 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Marjaleen Ramos

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) has expelled eight Faculty of Civil Law students involved in the hazing death of freshman law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.

In a statement released by the Varsitarian, the University confirmed that the Committee tasked to investigate the hazing death of Atio has issued its first resolution finding eight law students guilty of violating the Code of Conduct and Discipline and imposing the supreme penalty of expulsion.

Horacio Tomas ‘Atio’ Castillo III
Horacio Tomas ‘Atio’ Castillo III

The investigating committee, formed by UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. last Sept. 19, said it observed the due process requirements under University policies and pertinent Legal Education Board guidelines.

The investigating committee, composed of six UST administrators and a representative from the Central Student Council, said it would continue its probe until all students involved are held liable.

Reiterating its commitment to “ferret out the truth, determine liability, and impose the appropriate sanctions,” the University said it would continue to work for justice for Atio and his family, and for truth to prevail.

“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 statement added.

The University also reiterated its efforts to help in the investigation of the Manila Police District and the National Bureau of Investigation that led to the identification of Aegis Juris Fraternity members involved in the hazing death.

“It recommended a comprehensive review of the Student Handbook and the accreditation process for organizations. It issued an indefinite moratorium on the recruitment and all other activities of all fraternities and sororities in the University,” the statement read.

The 22-year-old Atio died September last year after undergoing hazing in the initiation rites of Aegis Juris, a law-school based fraternity that counts Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina as one of its most prominent alumni.