• Written by Hector Lawas
  • Published in Top Stories
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Featured ‘Murder’

Hazing death suspect Solano charged with murder

THE Manila Police District (MPD) yesterday filed murder and other criminal charges before the Department
of Justice (DoJ) against John Paul Solano, one of the primary suspects in the fatal hazing of University
of Sto. Tomas (UST) law freshman Horacio Castillo III.

But Solano’s camp immediately sought the dismissal of the murder case as well as his  release
from detention during yesterday’s inquest proceedings on the ground of lack of legal basis.
Specifically, the MPD charged Solano with murder in relation to Section 4 of the Republic Act of
8049 (Anti Hazing Law), perjury, obstruction of justice and robbery.
Aside from Solano, also facing complaints for murder and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law are
Antonio Trangia, his son Ralph, Arvin R. Balag, Mhin Wei R. Chan, Ranie Rafael Santiago, Oliver John
Audrey B. Onofre, Jason Adolfo Robiños, Danielle Hans Matthew Rodrigo, Karl Mathew Villanueva, Joshua
Joriel Macabali, Axel Munro Hipe, Marc Anthony Ventura, Aeron Salientes, Marcelino Bagtang, Zimon Padro
and Jose Miguel Salamat.
The MPD took custody of Solano after he surfaced last Friday to deny that he had actual
participation in the hazing of Castillo.
In a six-page Omnibus Motion filed through his lawyer Paterno Esmaquel, Solano also asked
the DoJ to stop the inquest proceedings and preliminary investigation of the case until his motion to
dismiss is resolved.
Solano argued that the case of murder in relation to Section 4 of the Republic Act of 8049 (Anti
Hazing Law) is considered a complex crime involving crime “mala in se” and “mala prohibia.”
He explained that murder is a crime “mala in se” as it is defined and penalized under the
Revised Penal Code while the Anti Hazing law is a crime “mala prohibia” as it is defined and penalized
under Special Law.
“Sad to say, however, there can be no complex crime if one offense is punished by a special law
since both offenses must be defined and punished by the same statute,” the motion read.
“There being no complex crime of murder and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law, then there exist
no offense charged in the instant case which thereby warrants its outright dismissal,” Solano said
through counsel.
Likewise, Solano said he was not properly informed of the nature of the cause of the accusation
against him and that he is entitled to the right to a regular preliminary investigation of the case
against him.

Hazing site
Hazing victim Castillo underwent fatal initiation rites at the Aegis Juris fraternity
headquarters in Sampaloc, Manila.
The Manila Police District revealed this yesterday in the complaint filed against Solano and
several others.
According to the MPD, the fraternity’s foundation office is located at Laon-Laan and Navarra
Streets near the University of Santo Tomas (UST) campus.
The complaint said the hazing occurred between 12 midnight and 8 a.m. of September 17.
Witnesses narrated that they heard noises from people having a drinking session inside the
fraternity’s office.
Several hours later, a CCTV footage showed that “a member was noticed hurriedly running towards
the direction of the Aegis Juris office while another, was observed busy using his cellular phone and
appeared to be worried.”
The MPD said that based on CCTV footage, Solano was part of the convoy that brought Castillo
from the office to the Chinese General Hospital.