Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) — One of the witnesses in the Horacio “Atio” Castillo III hazing case on Friday identified three Aegis Juris Fraternity members that he saw carrying Castillo’s lifeless body.
“Tonyo,” not his real name, said he saw Aegis Juris vice president Mhin Wei Chan, secretary Marc Anthony Ventura, and member John Paul Solano bringing Castillo out of the fraternity Library on the morning of September 17.
He did not name the three, but identified them in a gallery of pictures of Aegis Juris members shown to him by CNN Philippines.
Tonyo said the three exited the library carrying a body covered by a dirty white blanket, which they placed in a red pickup truck.
“Noong mapansin ko yung tatlong kalalakihan sa loob ng Aegis, may buhat-buhat na taong nakabalot sa dirty white na kumot at isinakay sa pickup na pula,” he said.
[Translation: When I saw the three men inside Aegis library, they were carrying a person covered in a dirty white blanket. They placed him inside a red pick up truck.]
Castillo was brought to the Chinese General Hospital but was declared dead on arrival at 9:21 a.m. Sunday. A day before this, he had told his parents he was attending welcome rites of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.
Tonyo said he saw Solano driving a motorcycle to guide the pickup to the hospital.
“Yung pickup na pula, nandoon yung single na motor, nakatutok sa pickup na pula… sumakay yung isang lalaki na nakastripe, may katabaan, bigotilyo… at noong umandar yung pickup na pula, sumunod siya… ang direksyon nila, Laong Laan to Dimasalang,” Tonyo recalled.
[Translation: There was a red pick up and a single motorcycle directing the red pick-up… A chubby guy with a moustache who was wearing a striped shirt rode the motorcycle… When the pick-up started moving, he followed them. They were headed from Laong Laan to Dimasalang.]
Solano was originally tagged as the stander who found Castillo’s body in Tondo, Manila. When he was later revealed to be a member of the fraternity, Solano retracted his statement.
Tonyo said he knew Solano was lying when he saw the television reports on the incident the following day.
“Sabi ko sinungalin to, nadaanan niya sa Infanta Juan Luna kako ang layo noon ah, Infanta Juan Luna eh lumaki akong Tondo alam ko yung Infanta,” he said.
[Translation: I said to myself ‘that guy is lying.’ He said he passed by him in Infanta, Juan Luna. That’s too far. I grew up in Tondo, I know Infanta.]
Tonyo has submitted an affidavit to the Manila Police District, which will be used to strengthen the Castillo family’s case against the suspects.
The witness said he is sure about his testimony and is ready to stand by it whatever happens.
“Ang sa akin talaga, talagang witness ako, pangangatawanan ko yung nakita ko.. bahala na yung poong maykapal kung anong mangyari sa akin,” he said.
[Translation: I’m a witness and I will stand by what I saw… Whatever happens to me next is up to God.]
Eighteen people have been charged in Castillo’s death. The Justice Department began hearing criminal charges filed against them last Wednesday, but the Castillo family has said it wants more names included as respondents.
CNN Philippines’ Amanda Lingao contributed to this story.
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