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DoJ: Omerta hampering police probe

  • Written by Hector Lawas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 308

OMERTA or the Code of Silence has been hampering the police investigation into the hazing death of
Horacio Tomas Castillo III.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II revealed this yesterday as he reiterated his call to
potential witnesses to “come out in the open, be not afraid, and share whatever information they have.”
    
Aguirre said he has received information that officers and members of Aegis Juris have been
preventing eight neophytes from cooperating with the authorities.
    
“There are eight neophytes in the latest batch who underwent initiation rites, and they are
being prevented by the senior members from speaking up. Just like in any other fraternity, they have a
Code of Silence,” he explained.
    
Furthermore, Aguirre divulged that the neophytes were “being kept against their will so that
they won’t reveal what they know of the incident.”
    
Also, two witnesses who reached out to his office -- a member and a neophyte of the fraternity
-- have already received threats to their lives.
    
“They are afraid because they already received threats. They haven't submitted affidavits yet
despite our assurance to cover them under WPP (witness protection program),” he lamented
    
“So that’s a problem. We don't know if they'll cooperate,” Aguirre admitted.
    
Aguirre said anyone wishing to volunteer information or stand as witness may call 0995-4429241,
the hotline set by DOJ for Castillo’s case.

MPD to file case today
    
Meanwhile, the Manila Police District is set to file before the Department of Justice today
charges of violation of Republic Act 8049 (Anti-Hazing Law) and perjury against John Paul Solano.
    
Solano, member of Aegis Juris who brought Castillo to Chinese General Hospital last September17,
earlier surrendered to the police after being tagged as primary suspect in the fatal hazing.