Police: Suspect in hazing death of law student can't be released yet

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

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 28) — The Manila Police District (MPD) said on Thursday that the principal suspect in the death of hazing victim Horacio Castillo III is still being detained despite a release order from the Justice Department.

Read: DOJ orders release of main suspect in hazing death of neophyte

MPD Homicide Division chief Rommel Anicete said the Department of Justice (DOJ) order issued September 27 for John Paul Solano's release did not cover the obstruction of justice case that he faced.


Aside from a complaint of obstruction of justice, the MPD filed on September 25 cases of perjury, murder, robbery, and violation of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law against Solano.

Read: Police file murder, perjury cases vs. Solano

The DOJ ordered the release of Solano, a University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student who has been detained by the MPD, because he voluntarily surrendered to authorities on September 22.

Read: Suspect in UST student's hazing surrenders

Anicete said the MPD will only release Solano if it receives a supplemental release order that covers his obstruction of justice case.

Despite his pending release, Solano and other respondents still face criminal charges as they are scheduled to undergo preliminary investigation on October 4 and 9.

Under the Rules of Court, a preliminary investigation is a proceeding where prosecutors will determine whether or not there are sufficient grounds to file cases against the accused in court.

Solano's involvement

Castillo, a 22-year-old UST law freshman, was declared dead on September 17 at the Chinese General Hospital after he allegedly took part in hazing rites of the Aegis Juris fraternity.

Read: UST law student dead after alleged hazing

The initial autopsy report stated that he succumbed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or thickening of the heart muscle. He was laid to rest on September 27.

Read: Hazing victim Horacio Castillo III laid to rest

Solano said on September 22 that he was not present at Castillo's hazing and that he was only called to help resuscitate the victim.

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

Castillo's death has elicited widespread sympathy for the family and incited anger among the public over violent initiation rites known as "hazing," which is observed in fraternities.

Related: At least 18 frat-related deaths despite a 22-year-old anti-hazing law

His death has also prompted Congress to give more teeth to the 1995 Anti-Hazing Law.

Related: House bill seeks to ban hazing