Return Atio’s belongings as a ‘gift’ to his parents, Poe asks Aegis Juris

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Horatio and Carmina Castillo, parents of Atio Castillo, at the November 6 Senate hearing on their son's hazing death. (image from Senate live video feed)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe urged members of the Aegis Juris fraternity on Monday to return the personal belongings of Horacio Castillo III as an anonymous “gift” to the parents of the law school freshman, who died of hazing injuries during his initiation rites.

Ang hinihiling ng mga magulang ay maibalik lang ang kagamitan. Maiintindihan natin ‘yon. Siguro kung hindi man ikaw, kung sinuman, bigla na lang puwedeng may regalo sa kanila. Padala na ninyo,” Poe told Aegis Juris members at the third Senate hearing into the death of Castillo.

She aired her appeal after fraternity member Miguel Salamat, who she said contents of a group chat of Aegis Juris members suggested had possession of Castillo’s mobile phone, refused to reply when asked if he knew where the gadget was, choosing instead to invoke his right against self-incrimination.

At an earlier hearing, Carminia Castillo, Atio’s mother, pleaded for the return of her sons’ things.

“You have his eyeglasses, you have his watch – those are important to us. Those were his last things that I want,” Carminia said.

Castillo was declared dead at the Chinese General Hospital where he had been brought the morning of September 17.