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Law dean says Aegis frat in Atio Castillo hazing case isn’t recognized in UST

The Aegis Juris Fraternity is not a recognized organization at the University of Santo Tomas this school year, fraternity alumnus and UST Faculty of Civil Law dean Nilo Divina told a Senate inquiry on Monday night.

Divina made the remark as the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs started its investigation into the alleged fatal hazing of UST law student Horacio Castillo III by alleged Aegis Juris fratmen.

"For this year, Aegis Juris is not recognized," Divina said when asked by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian about the frat's status.

Divina said for a fraternity to be recognized, "it must be a legitimate organization, composed of bona fide students and they should not engage in hazing in any manner or form."

Senator Joel Villanueva, however,  said the UST Civil Law website showed that the Aegis Juris was listed as a non-academic fraternity.

The senator added that the presence of Aegis Juris in the UST Civil Law website looked like an "endorsement" of the fraternity.

Divina is one of the notable members of the Aegis Juris fraternity. He, however, said he no longer had any involvement with the activities of the fraternity after he took a leave of absence from it when he assumed the deanship eight years ago.

The lawyer vowed to help in seeking justice for Castillo's death.

Divina was the one who turned over primary suspect John Paul Solano to Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday. Solano was later endorsed to the Manila Police District.

Police already filed criminal charges before the Department of Justice against Solano. He underwent inquest proceedings for the complaint for murder, perjury, obstruction of justice, robbery and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.

The 22-year-old freshman law student died after attending the "welcoming rites" of the fraternity possibly from the injuries sustained in the hazing to which he was subjected.

Castillo's body will be laid to rest on Wednesday at Manila Memorial Park. —NB/KVD/KG, GMA News