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UST says it cares about Atio’s death: Nagdasal kami, tumulong sa pulis!

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The University of Santo Tomas (UST) has cried foul over criticism that it has been indifferent to the death of its law student, Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III, after undergoing hazing by a fraternity.

In a statement issued Friday (October 20), UST said the perception that it lacks interest in resolving Castillo’s case is an “inaccurate portrayal” of its efforts.

“On the contrary, on the first day that the news broke out, the University manifested its grief, offered prayers, and conveyed its profound sympathy to the family of Horacio. It condemned the senseless act of violence and declared a day of mourning,” the school said.

Aside from creating a committee to investigate Castillo’s death, UST said it also coordinated with the Manila Police District and National Bureau of Investigation regarding the identification of members of the Aegis Juris fraternity.

The organization, which was founded in UST, is tagged in Castillo’s death due to hazing on September 17.

“Despite the limitations under the Education Act and the Data Privacy Act, the University allowed representatives of the Legal Education Board and the Commission on Human Rights to observe the proceedings of the investigation committee. At no point did the University indicate lack of interest concerning the death of Horacio,” UST said.

The university’s role in resolving Castillo’s death came under scrutiny following the Senate’s investigation into the hazing incident.

Senator Francis Escudero said UST officials do not seem to care about the tragedy which befell on the student, since they have yet to speak out about it.

While UST condemned Castillo’s death, Faculty of Civil Law dean Nilo Divina said the school should not be liable for what happened since it has a “very strict” policy against hazing.