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Aegis Juris members intended to evade probe, says MPD chief

Manila Police District chief Joel Colonel revealed two threads among members of Aegis Juris Fraternity discussing how to proceed on the death of Horacio "Atio" Castillo III. Romeo Bugante/Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — The members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity members intended  to "conceal, cover-up" the fatal hazing of Horacio "Atio" Castillo III, the Manila Police District chief said.

During the resumption of the Senate inquiry on the death of Castillo, Senior Superintendent Joel Colonel stressed that the subsequent actions of the fratmen implied that they intended to evade "persecution and arrest" over the death of Castillo.

Castillo, a 22-year-old law student of the University of Santo Tomas, is believed to be a victim of the brutal initiation rites of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

His lifeless body was found sprawled at a sidewalk along Balut, Tondo on Sunday morning, his arms black with bruises.

Colonel, public complainant in the case of Castillo, shared screen captures of social media conversations among the members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity and a supposed meeting among members and alumni at a hotel.

Thread among active members

In the conversation among the members of the fraternity, Arvin Balag, believed to be the head of the fraternity, said that the members should deactivate their social media accounts.

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Asked to confirm this, Balag however invoked his right against self-incrimination.

He was later cited in contempt by the Senate after he repeatedly refused to answer Sen. Grace Poe's questions on his position in the fraternity.

"We were hoping that they will come out," Colonel lamented, citing that the fraternity issued a statement that they will cooperate on the probe on September 19.

"But then in light of the discovery of chat messages from September 17, the objective is to cover up, conceal and evade prosecution," Colonel stressed.

"Nowhere in the thread signified that they want to submit in investigation," Colonel added.

READ: Atio's parents to fratmen: Return our son's belongings

Hotel meeting

Colonel also revealed that a social media "chat or page" was created on how the fraternity will proceed with the death of the fraternity neophyte.

He said that there were 30 personalities in the message thread while 19 attended the meeting at Novotel Manila in Quezon City on September 17.

Colonel said that seven are still subject for identification. He said that the chat thread, which started early Sunday morning when Atio's body was also discovered, was created by a certain Marvi Rosero Abo.

The MPD chief said that the members and alumni "purposely met to discuss their actions to be taken in this investigation."

Other than Abo, others who were in the group chat and attended the meeting are:

  • Bongget Rogello
  • Mong Dela Fuenta
  • Edzel Bert Canlas
  • Migs Salamat, who was identified as Jose Miguel Salamat
  • Cecilio Jimeno
  • Car Mhel, identified as Brian Mhel Bangui
  • Gaille Dante Azucar Caraan
  • Migg Ynigo, who was identified as Miguel Ventura II
  • Milfen Alvarado
  • Jet Dela Pena Villaroman
  • Henry C. Pablo Jr.

Others whose name appeared in the group chat but did not send any message are:

  • Henry Pablo
  • Al Versoza
  • Nikoy Duque
  • MI Ka-El Vito, who was identified as Mike Vito
  • Attornin Fainsan Servanez, who was identified as Nino Kjeil Sevanez
  • Jr Bernz, who was identified as Jr Bernabe
  • Cesar Ocampo Ona
  • Erol Ecalnir
  • G. Suyat IV

Colonel also cited six persons who were identified by an informant. They are:

  • Nathan "Jungjung" Anarna
  • Ronald Cheng
  • Alex Bose
  • Robin Ramos
  • Leo Lalusis
  • Chuck Salazar

Colonel said that the two Facebook threads were already submitted to the police's anti-cybercrime unit  for verification, authentication and validation.

He added that he is hoping the results of the anti-cybercrime unit will be released before the DOJ's resumption of preliminary investigation on the case of Castillo.

The MPD serves as the public complainant in the murder, anti-hazing, robbery and obstruction of justice raps against several members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

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