Aegis Juris lawyers may face disbarment over hazing cover-up attempt

UNTV News   •   October 20, 2017   •   6664

Senator Francis Chiz Escudero

MANILA, Philippines – As a lawyer and Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity member himself, Senator Francis Chiz Escudero expressed dismay over what he described as a clear cover-up attempt of the lawyers and law students of the University of Sto. Tomas in the death of hazing victim Oracio “Atio” Castillo III.

The senator said the Aegis Juris Fraternity members are tainting the image of lawyers in the country.

Escudero explained that the online chat messages among members of the Aegis Juris Frantenity can be used as basis to disbar the lawyers and soon-to-be-lawyers.

“Sa katunayan ang paglabag sa Anti – Hazing law, ang pag- commit ng murder at pagiging accessory sa murder, ito’y nagco-constitute ng moral turpitude at maaaring maging basehan para itong mga estudyante ng law ay hindi pinayagan mag-bar. Pumasa man sila at hindi pwede mag- abogado at ground din ‘yan ng disbarment ng sinomang incumbent naaboagdo,” Escudero said.

(The violation of the Anti – Hazing Law, the commission of murder and being an accessory to murder, these constitute moral turpitude and can be used as basis so these law students would not be allowed to take bar exams. And even if they pass, they cannot become lawyers, and it can be a ground for the disbarment of any incumbent lawyer.)

According to Atty. Christina Layusa of the office of the Bar Confidante of the Supreme Court, law students facing charges cannot take their oaths although they are allowed to take bar exams.

“The policy of the court is to let them take the bar exam but once they pass, we will hold their oath taking. It might even take 10 years or 15 years but the court will not allow them to take their oath unless the cases against them has been dismissed,” Layusa said.

In the event the cases filed against them are dismissed, they still have to submit a petition to the court and documents proving they are of “good moral –fibre” or in the right condition to convince the court that they can practice law.

The Senator, meanwhile, proposed the total ban on corporeal initiation rights or hazing by fraternities.

“To simply prohibit hazing siguro isang malaking amendment sa batas ito. . . . initiation rights na walang kinalaman sa pagsakit o pagdampi ng maski isang daliri sa katawan ng sinomang neophyte,” Escudero said.

(To simply prohibit hazing, I think is a huge amendment on the law…initiation rites that has nothing to do with causing pain or laying even one finger on the body of any neophyte.)

Escudero also stood firm that the University of Santo Tomas has liability for the death of Atio especially since those involved are students of the UST Civil Law College.

During Wednesday’s Senate hearing, UST Alumni and Senator Joel Villanueva expressed dismay after seeing that the profile of the Aegis Jusris Fraternity is still at the website of the UST Civil Law Department amid the involvement of the fraternity’s members to the crime.

“Nandoon pa rin po iyong Aegis Juris Fraternity nakalagay po doon and again Mr. Chairman parang promotion pa rin ito at hindi ko alam kung aware pa rin po ang ating dean. Dean Divina, last hearing I mentioned this,” Sen. Joel Villanueva said.

(The profile of the Aegis Juris Fraternity is still there. Mr. Chairman, it still seems like a promotion and I am not sure if the dean is aware. Dean Divina, last hearing I mentioned this.) – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Aegis Juris fratman found guilty of obstruction of justice in Atio hazing death

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2019

John Paul Solano

Aegis Juris fratman John Paul Solano has been found guilty of obstruction of justice over the death of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio ‘Atio’ Castillo III.

Solano is guilty of two counts of obstruction of justice and was sentenced by the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Branch 14 to a minimum of two years and 4 months up to 4 years and two months in prison.

“Considering that he allowed himself to be left behind asserting his desires to attend to Castillo, and he, in fact, saw those who brought Castillo to the hospital leave, nothing would prevent him from refusing to follow the supposed instructions or get lost in the hospital or from speaking the truth to the police officers who arrived to investigate,” the decision reads.

The court, meanwhile, acquitted him for perjury.

READ: Man who brought slain UST law student to hospital, considered a ‘person of interest’

Solano led the convoy that took Atio to the Chinese General Hospital when Atio was severely injured after undergoing hazing. Solano then reported the incident to authorities but identified himself as a stranger who found Atio.

“It is clear that he gave false and fabricated information to mislead the police or prevent them from apprehending those responsible for the death of Castillo,” as stated in the court’s decision.

Atio’s parents, meanwhile, are satisfied with the court’s verdict but they said the battle for justice is not yet over.

READ: Fratmen’s “cover-up attempt” revealed through a group chat presented in Senate

“Hopefully we will file cases again sa mga kasama—even iyong mga lawyers iyong mga involved sa cover up, (Hopefully, we will file cases again against the other members and even the lawyers who were involved in the cover-up),” said Atio’s father Horacio Castillo Jr.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Chiz Escudero hailed governor of Sorsogon

Marje Pelayo   •   May 14, 2019

Senator Francis Escudero

SORSOGON, Philippines – Outgoing senator, Francis Escudero won the election as governor in his hometown.

Escudero garnered the highest number of votes at 303,960 on Tuesday as against his rival Bladi Frivaldo who only received 31,867 votes, based from election returns transmitted from all 768 clustered precincts.

“Sa lahat po na mga taga-Sorsogon, maraming salamat po sa suporta at sa tiwalang ipinakita ninyo hindi lang sa akin kundi sa buong grupo ng Sorsogon First at NPC. Susuklian po namin ito ng taos-pusong serbisyo, tuwid at matinong paggogobyerno,” he said.

(To the people of Sorsogon, thank you so much for the support and trust that you have shown not only to me but to the entire group of Sorsogon First and NPC. We promise to return the favor by rendering genuine service, straight and good governance.)

Escudero’s term in Senate ends in June. – Marje Pelayo

Escudero, Pimentel, Roxas among first voters on election day

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2019

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and former Interior secretary and senatorial bet Mar Roxas

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero was among the first to cast his vote on election day (May 13) in Sorsogon.

As early as 6 a.m., Escudero arrived in Buhatan Elementary School with his wife, actress Heart Evangelista, and his mother Evelina, who is seeking another term as first district representative.

Escudero, whose term as senator will end in June, is gunning for the gubernatorial post of Sorsogon under the Nationalist People’s Coalition.

Meanwhile, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel was also among the early birds at the Barangay 3 clustered precincts in the City Central School in Cagayan de Oro.

Pimentel said he opted to vote early because he needed to return to Manila to assist in PDP-Laban’s monitoring of elections.

Pimentel is seeking a fresh six-year term as a senator.

On the other hand, Opposition senatorial bet Mar Roxas on Monday morning went to his designated precinct in Conrado Barrios Memorial Elementary School in Baybay, Roxas City to cast his vote.

He arrived at the voting center a few minutes after the voting began at 6 a.m.

Roxas, who served as Interior and Local Government Secretary under the administration of Former President Benigno Aquino III, was part of the opposition slate Otso Diretso.

Aside from the mentioned political personalities, millions of eager voters camped out at their respective polling precincts as early as 2 a.m. in order to cast their votes early.

More than 61 million registered voters are expected to participate in the 2019 Midterm National and Local Elections.

The Commission on Elections said the voting for the May 13 polls is from 6 am. to 6 p.m.

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