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Medico-legal report: Atio died of hazing

MANILA, Philippines — University of Santo Tomas law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III died of injuries he sustained when he was beaten up during a fraternity initiation rite, according to a Philippine National Police (PNP) medico-legal report.

Castillo’s parents submitted the report during yesterday’s preliminary investigation hearing at the Department of Justice.

The police report contradicted the claim by some Aegis Juris members that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – enlargement of the heart – was the cause of his death.

“The fact that Atio’s hazing resulted in his death evidently destroys the allegation of respondents that Atio’s injuries were not serious in nature,” Castillo’s parents, Horacio and Carminia, said in the 14-page consolidated reply-affidavit they submitted during yesterday’s hearing on the charges of hazing, murder and robbery filed against 31 Aegis Juris members.

A separate reply on the perjury complaint was also submitted before the three-man panel of prosecutors.

The PNP Crime Laboratory’s Medico-Legal Division found that Castillo’s cause of death was  “severe blunt traumatic injuries, both upper limbs” as shown in the gross autopsy findings.

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In the same histopathological report, it was also mentioned that the injuries “will cause rhabdomyolysis (skeletal breakdown) resulting to electrolyte imbalance and acute kidney injury. Increased potassium in the blood, and decreased calcium in the blood due to muscle trauma will cause immediate death from cardiac failure (fatal conduction abnormalities).”

An expert earlier testified that this was the case during a Senate hearing last Nov. 6.        

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