Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri called members of the Aegis Jvris fraternity “criminal syndicates” after reportedly trying to cover up the death of law freshman Horacio Castillo during the violent initiation rites.
Law student-members who attended the hearing of Senate committee on public order have invoked their right against self-incrimination. Zubiri mentions that they “may have been told what to do” by their “senior brods who are lawyers.”
“I’m just shocked at how they’re trying to cover this whole thing up. These are future lawyers,” he told ANC’s Headstart.
Zubiri adds that he was “appalled” at the message thread during last week’s hearing, which reportedly occurred from September 17 to 18, right after the death of Castillo.
“Parang sindikato, they’re acting like a criminal syndicate, reminiscent of drug syndicates and triads,” Zubiri mentioned.
He added, “Kung ganito po ang nangyayari sa mga lawyers, I feel sad for the law profession. You take an oath to uphold the law, to defend the law and the defenseless; and here you are, trying to cover everything up.”
In the chat thread, Aegis Jvris member Jose Miguel Salamat mentioned he has Castillo’s phone and it already has multiple calls and messages from the 22-year-old’s parents.
Lawyer Alston Kevin Anarna, another member in the group, said Castillo’s family is well-off and may be able to get a search warrant for the frat library. “Sana malinis na, matanggal na ang paddle doon,” he added.
Ronald Cheng, who reportedly works at the Supreme Court Clerk of Court’s 2nd division, was part of the conversation, mentioning that he has seen where the CCTV was installed and it doesn’t cover the area.
Zubiri believes the Castillo family will file obstruction of justice and disbarment cases against the members involved in the chat thread.
Senators are likely to keep the fraternity leader in detention for refusing to answer “until members of the Senate committee deem that he is able to give the right answer or to tell the truth or actual cases have been filed and the court takes over the hearings.”
Aegis Jvris Grand Praefectus, Arvin Balag, had repeatedly refused to answer questions during the hearing, which is why Zubiri says he is likely to be detained even after lawmakers resume session on November 13 or “until the budget hearing is approved.”
“Grabe naman siya. He won’t even admit that he was a member of Aegis Jvris. It was a simple question by Senator Grace Poe, and in all the flyers, he’s there as the leader and he won’t admit that,” he told Karen Davila.
“Ginagago na niya talaga yung committee. These are statements of facts, these are really there, it’s factual, he signs these documents. All he had to do was confirm. The problem is he’s invoking his right against self-incrimination, but he’s taking the committee for a ride so hindi talaga kami papayag,” Zubiri added.
“We will totally prohibit all forms of physical, mental, and psychological abuse on any applicant to any organization. Hindi na dapat yan. It’s [hazing] such a barbaric act,” he said.