Solano: I wasn't at Horacio Castillo's hazing

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John Paul Solano (left) is one of the principal suspects in the death of hazing victim Horacio Castillo III.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 22) — One of the principal suspects in the death of hazing victim Horacio Castillo III said he had nothing to do with the student's death.

After surrendering to authorities Friday, John Paul Solano said he was not at Castillo's hazing and that he was only called to help resuscitate the victim.

Read: Suspect in UST student's hazing surrenders

Solano is a law student at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) who is on leave of absence. 

"My involvement was to give medical assistance because they were in chaos that time," he said in a media briefing. "I am a medical health provider, so they would call me. More or less, he's half-dead. I did give CPR and then, when I can't do anything else, I brought him to the hospital."

 

Solano added he didn't know Castillo personally.

"We only met just twice," he said. "The first time, he told me his name and then the second time was the incident happened."

 

Solano also apologized for giving a false statement regarding Castillo's death, saying that his lawyer is writing a new statement that he will swear by.

 

Meanwhile, Manila Police District Director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said at the press briefing that they will evaluate Solano's statement.

"If upon our evaluation, it will be material to the resolution of the case, then he can be also recommended as a material or state witness in this case," he said.

Possible recruiter

The body of Castillo, a 22-year-old 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

Castillo was declared dead later that day, with the initial autopsy report saying he succumbed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or thickening of the heart muscle.

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.

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

Coronel said in a Wednesday press briefing that Solano recruited the victim to join the fraternity.

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

Coronel, however, added two other principal 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," he 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.