Suspect in UST student's hazing surrenders

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John Paul Solano speaks to the media after surrendering to authorities on September 22.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 22) — John Paul Solano, a principal suspect involved in the hazing of Horacio "Atio" Castillo III, surrendered to police on Friday.

Solano, one of three principal suspects being hunted down by police, earlier turned himself in at the office of Sen. Ping Lacson in Taguig City. He is now under the custody of the Manila Police District (MPD) Homicide Division.

University of Santo Tomas (UST) Law Dean Nilo Divina facilitated the surrender, saying his father and Solano's father are close friends.

Police are looking into filing perjury and anti-hazing law charges against Solano.

"For now, we will conduct the normal procedure of booking, medical checkup, and mugshot," MPD's Supt. Erwin Margarejo said.

He added they are in hot pursuit of the remaining suspects in Castillo's case.

 

Read: Police name 3 principal suspects in UST hazing death; manhunt ongoing

Castillo's family, in a statement, said while they are pleased that Solano has surrendered, his statements should be viewed with utmost suspicion.

"Until he comes clean, identifies all the Aegis Juris perpetrators in the fatal hazing, and executes a truthful affidavit detailing all their participation, Solano, to our mind, should still be considered one of the principals in Atio's murder," the statement said.

The body of Castillo, a 22-year-old University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman, was found on Sunday morning in Tondo, Manila after he took part in hazing rites of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

Read: UST law student dead after alleged hazing

Solano had told police he found Castillo's lifeless body and brought him to the Chinese General Hospital.

Manila Police District Director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel also said in a Friday press briefing that Solano actually recruited the victim to join the fraternity.

Coronel, however, said the other two suspects — UST law student Ralph Trangia and his father Antonio — allegedly owned the car that transported Castillo's body to the hospital.

"Clearly John Paul Solano, with the assistance and cooperation of Antonio Trangia and Ralph Trangia, deliberately misled our operation to the death of Castillo by providing us false and fraudulent statements. They are now considered as suspects in this investigation," Coronel said.

The Bureau of Immigration said on Thursday the younger Trangia left the country for Taiwan on Tuesday.

Read: BI: Suspect in hazing victim's death out of the country

His departure was a day before the DOJ issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order against him, Solano and 14 other people involved in Castillo's hazing.

According to a police report, Castillo had hematoma or bruises on both upper arms. He also had several marks of candle wax drips all over his body.

He was declared dead on Sunday morning.

Coronel said the initial autopsy report shows Castillo succumbed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or thickening of the heart muscle.

The autopsy report is expected to be released within the week.

CNN Philippines' Digital Producer Chad de Guzman contributed to this story.