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Hazing: The Most Ridiculous Way to Brotherhood

Updated on September 23, 2017

Early morning, September 17, 2017. A body was found wrapped in a blanket on a pavement in one of the areas in Manila. Identified as Horacio Castillo III, the man was bloated and bruised. He was rushed to a hospital by a concerned citizen. But was declared dead on arrival. The medico-legal team who performed the autopsy declared that the 22-year-old Castillo died of massive heart attack. The victim’s body had a hematoma on both arms but did not sustain burn marks.

The young man was a first-year student at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Faculty of Civil Law. On Saturday night prior to his death, Castillo reportedly asked permission from his parents to stay overnight on the UST campus. He said he intends to attend the welcome rites of the law school-based fraternity, Aegis Juris, to which he was a neophyte. Aegis Juris is one the of the fraternities based in the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines.

Based on the reason for his overnight stay at the campus, therefore, Castillo’s parents believed his injuries were sustained in a fraternity hazing initiation rites. The Manila Police District, which also shared the same belief, is now investigating the case.

‘Do no injustice, suffer no injustice’

This motto is boldly splashed across the Aegis Juris website. But, how does the fraternity justify such maxim in Castillo’s death?

The UST-based Aegis Juris fraternity promised to cooperate in the investigation. Law Dean Nilo Divina has even ordered the preventive suspension of Aegis members. But what I don’t understand is this: why does the dean have to ban the fraternity’s officers and members from entering the campus while the investigation is going on? Will it not allow the suspects to get away? Well, actually my suspicion did not fail me. Reports have it that the prime suspects left the country after the incident happened.

I don’t want to think that UST Law Dean Nilo Divina is trying to obstruct justice. But his being a member of the Aegis Juris fraternity has somehow raised my eyebrows. I share the Manila Police District’s doubt that the fraternity is willing to cooperate in resolving the issue.

Castillo is not the first casualty of hazing in the Philippines. Since 1954 there are already more than 35 recorded deaths in the country. But sadly, only a handful cases have ever been solved.

Ridiculous requisite to brotherhood

I should say that behind the tough man who beats and makes life miserable for a newbie is a coward and irresponsible guy! Yes, fraternity members are simply cowards. I repeat, they are COWARDS! Why? Once they noticed something went wrong with the person they beat, they quickly disappear like bubbles. No fraternity officer or member ever steps forward to take the responsibility for a newbie’s demise.

Now, going back to Castillo’s case and the motto that Aegis Juris espouses? Where and when does ‘Do no injustice, suffer no injustice’ apply? Where are the supposed ‘brothers’? Why should there be a hazing initiation in a brotherhood? They’re not going to a military camp, are they?

To the young college students out there, I implore you to please stay away from people who invite you to join their ‘brotherhood’. There is more to life than fraternity. Didn’t you know that a fraternity delimits your circle of friends? Perhaps you have heard of frat wars. Take it from there!


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    • nilaeslit profile image

      Nila Eslit 5 months ago from Philippines

      In the Senate hearing about Castillo's death, it was revealed that he was not "found on a pavement" after all. The person, identified as John Paul Solano, who earlier claimed to have "found" the body was lying. The truth is that Castillo lied unconscious inside the venue where the hazing initiation happened. And that Solano tried to revive him right on the site. And seeing that the victim was no longer responding, he brought him to a Chinese Hospital. Investigators were perplexed as to why the victim had to be brought to a farther hospital when the UST hospital is just across the Aegis Juris' hazing site.

      Solano has been charged with obstruction of justice among other cases. But, he claimed that he lied because "that was what he was told to say". See the cover up here?

      Again, my (forever) question is: will Castillo obtain justice?

    • Mamerto profile image

      JR Mamerto 5 months ago from Cabuyao

      I really don't understand the point of hazing. If it is brotherhood, just join another club and you will get your brotherhood. If it's about strength of character, a sports and martial arts club beats hazing all the time. What you are gaining here are no more than injuries. And a fraternity brotherhood does not guarantee a better career and it could be a burden in the end. Fraternities have no place in the modern world, they are an obsolete and merely glorified rebellion.