President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, October 4, vowed swift justice for the death of a University of Santo Tomas (UST) freshman law student. The President gave the assurance during his meeting with Horacio Jr. and Carmina Castillo, parents of Horacio Tomas Castillo III in Malacañan Palace.
Castillo died of heart attack last month allegedly while undergoing hazing.
The Chief Executive assured Horacio’s parents that justice would be served and that there would be full transparency in the ongoing police investigation.
During the meeting which lasted for almost an hour, the Castillos expressed fear of a cover up by some groups which may derail the filing of charges against those involved into the death of their son.
Hence, upon request of the Horacio family, the President made a phone call to the chief of the Manila Police District (MPD) during the meeting and asked MPD to be the lead investigating body of the case.
In addition, President Duterte said the Department of Justice (DOJ) would validate the result of the MPD’s probe.
At the same time, he said he would discuss during Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting the possible cancellation of the passport of a suspect who fled the country. He said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) wants to coordinate with the International Police Organization or INTERPOL on the matter.
During the meeting, President Duterte also talked about the culture of brotherhood among university students which had become a serious concern. He said it’s time for Congress to pass a legislation that would stop deadly hazing rites and at the same time, colleges and universities should do their share to resolve this perennial problem.
In a media interview after the meeting, the President said that impeachment complaints maybe filed against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
President Duterte said the Ombudsman berates people for delay of justice and yet the “Ombudsman is the number one who’s doing selective justice.” He also accused the Ombudsman of using falsified documents.
On the other hand, the President said Sereno did not include in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) all the earnings she accumulated.
“Kasi hinahamon ko nga sila. Why don’t we go to Congress? The three of us — Sereno, siya, pati ako and we will bring the passbook or the statement of the Central Bank. I will ask for it myself,” he said.
“Then ipakita natin doon but we sign because what perceives to be a problem for the Republic is the Chief Justice na hindi rin pala nag-file ng SALN niya, the huge attorney’s fees niya sa Piatco case,” he added. ###(PND)