Hazing suspect lied — senator

SENATOR Juan Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday night warned the Senate will release the statements of hazing suspect John Paul Solano that were given to the senators in an executive session if he fails to submit a sworn affidavit by Monday, Oct. 16.

Solano, previously considered a “person of interest” in the case, is considered a principal suspect in the killing of hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III after discovering that he gave “false statements” to the police. He apologized for making the statements when he surrendered last month.

Castillo, 22, a freshman law student, did not return home after telling his parents he was attending an event being held by the Aegis Juris fraternity Saturday night. His body was brought by Solano to the Chinese General Hospital on Sunday morning.

“He has until Monday to submit a sworn affidavit or else we will release the transcripts of his statements to us in executive session. It is under our rules. We allow it. He has not yet submitted [his affidavit],” Zubiri said.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri

“We don’t want to be obstructionists of justice.”

Zubiri said Solano lied to them when he said he was going to submit his sworn affidavit in the preliminary investigation.

“He [Solano] promised us that he would file his affidavit immediately during the preliminary investigation and yet there have been two already,” Zubiri said.

“It seems he is giving the committee a run-around and under our rules, if we see fit that it is material in solving a case and assist in the speedy disposition of justice, then we can vote on it. We have and we will release it under the permission of all members duly adopted by the Senate.”

Zubiri, a friend of Castillo’s father, is the author of the Senate resolution seeking an investigation into the death of the University of Santo Tomas law student.

Voting unanimously, the Senate approved also on Wednesday night Senate Resolution 529 authorizing the heads of the Senate’s public order and justice committees to make Solano’s testimony public.

The resolution authorized the heads of the two Senate committees conducting the probe into the fatal hazing to “make public” the testimony of Solano on Sept. 25.

Senator Panfilo Lacson is the chairman of the committee on public order and dangerous drugs, while Senator Richard Gordon is the chairman of the committee on justice and human rights.

“Mr. Solano, during the executive session and in the presence of counsel, divulged vital information that will help the authorities solve the case, prosecute the culprits and give justice to the death of Atio Castillo,” the resolution says.

“Despite the two preliminary investigations conducted by the prosecutors of the Department of Justice and since the Senate hearing on 25 September 2017, Mr. Solano has yet to execute a sworn statement and make public all personal knowledge he has on the death of Atio Castillo.”

Zubiri earlier said Solano named at least seven people responsible for Castillo’s death. He said all 23 senators backed the resolution.

According to Zubiri, senators Grace Poe and Leila de Lima were unable to sign but had expressed support for it.