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From 'comfort of his bed' to crime scene: Hazing suspect points to frat brods in Atio's killing

Carmina and Horacio Tomas Castillo Jr. weep at a funeral parlor where the body of their son, Horacio Tomas III. EDD GUMBAN, File

MANILA, Philippines (First published at 10:26 p.m. on Sept. 25) — The primary suspect in the killing of a 22-year-old freshman law student of the University of Santo Tomas told a Senate hearing that the members of the fraternity involved in the hazing rites instructed him to lie about the circumstances that led him to bring the body of the victim to a hospital in Manila.

John Paul Solano initially said that he found the lifeless body of Horacio Castillo III sprawled on a sidewalk in Balut, Tondo on the morning of September 17.

However, during a joint hearing of several Senate committees, Solano admitted that he was ordered by members of the Aegis Juris fraternity involved in the deadly welcome ceremony to tell authorities that he found Castillo's body on the sidewalk in Tondo.

He was very "rattled" and "confused" at that time, according to Solano, so he just followed what he was told.

READ: Atio’s mom doubts credibility of Solano

"They told me to tell that story. I was very rattled that time. I was confused on what to to do, so I just followed," Solano said in the joint hearing by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs with the Committees on Justice and Human Rights and Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes.

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He also clarified that he did not personally know Castillo and was not an active member of the fraternity at the time of the incident.

Solano, who was in hiding for a few days after the story broke in the media, surrendered to the Manila Police District through Sen. Panfilo Lacson in an effort to clear his name.

His surrender followed reports that another suspect had already left to the United States with his mother.

READ: Suspect in Castillo hazing case seeks dismissal of complaint

According to Solano, he was in the "comfort of his bed" when he was awakened by a call from an anonymous number on the morning of September 17 asking him to go to the frat's library in Sampaloc, Manila.

He said that he did not immediately accede to the request of the member of the fraternity to go to their group's library.

"Tumanggi po akong pumunta since I'm working po on Saturday and Sunday in my father's clinic. I did not proceed right away," Solano told the Senate.

He recalled that after 30 to 40 minutes he got another call from the same fraternity member. This time he asked for a reason, and he was allegedly told, "Basta."

"They just told me that someone collapsed," he narrated of the call he received between 7:30 and 7:40 that morning, and this was when he proceeded to go to Manila from their Caloocan home.

He said that his fraternity mates might have decided to call him since he had some medical background because he was a licensed medical technologist.

Solano said that when he arrived at the library at around 9 a.m. he saw someone unconscious on the floor.

"The first thing I checked po is the pupils and the pulse. When I checked the pulse, I didn't hear any po, so I administered CPR," Solano said.

He then advised the frat's members there to rush Castillo to the hospital.

He said that he rode his motorcycle on the way to the hospital while the other frat members were in two vehicles. He, however, refused to say the number of members who went to the hospital with him.

Solano vowed to name the fraternity members who called him and who told him to concoct the story in his affidavit.

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