By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has vowed to resolve within the year the hazing case of dead University of Sto. Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio Tomas (Atio) Castillo III.
“Before Christmas we will release the resolution,” said Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva, who chairs the panel of prosecutors handling the case.
The panel is currently conducting a preliminary investigation over the criminal complaints filed by the Manila Police District (MPD) and Atio’s parents, Horacio Jr. and Carminia, against those involved in the death of the law freshman.
Villanueva said under the rules the panel is supposed to resolve the complaints within 60 days from the start of the filing.
The MPD filed its complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on September 25, while Atio’s parents submitted a supplemental complaint on October 9.
“But under the rules we are allowed additional days depende sa gravity ng offense (depending on the gravity of the offense),” Villanueva assured.
Atio died after undergoing initiation rites at the Aegis Juris library on September 17 and was declared already dead when he was brought to the Chinese General Hospital.
The MPD named 18 respondents in its complaint for murder, robbery and violation of Republic Act 8049, the Anti-Hazing Law.
Atio’s parents named 31 respondents who are accused of murder, robbery and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.
The parents also charged 23 respondents of committing four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice.
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