UST law student dies of hazing, members of Aegis Juris fraternity suspended

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MANILA : The body of Horacio Tomas Topacio Castillo III  of San Lorenzo Village in Makati was found at the corner of H. Lopez Blvd. and Infanta Street in Balut, Tondo at around 7:50 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Manila Police District,  Philippine Star reports. The 22-year-old law student, who had hoped to become a senator, was clad in a white shirt with “Political Science University of Santo Tomas” printed on it and was in blue jersey shorts and had no footwear, according to the report. He was rushed to the Chinese General Hospital where Dr. Clarisse Cledera declared him dead on arrival at 9:21 a.m.  Based on police report, the victim had hematoma on his upper arms as well as bruises and marks of candle drippings in different parts of his body. An autopsy performed on Castillo’s body showed that he died of a massive heart attack possibly due to the injuries he suffered. A day before he died, Castillo told his parents he would be attending the “welcoming rites” of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, a university-accredited organization.

In a statement, UST condemned the hazing death of Castillo with its Faculty of Civil Law dean Nilo Divina issuing a memorandum imposing preventive suspension on all officers and members of the Aegis Juris fraternity to ensure “unobstructed investigation” of the incident. “We condemn in no uncertain terms hazing in any form or manner. Violence has no place in an academic institution, particularly in the University of Santo Tomas that values and promotes charity and compassion,” UST said.