DoJ junks petition to include law dean in Castillo hazing case

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THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has dismissed a petition by the parents of slain law student Horacio Castillo III to include a dean at the University of Santo Thomas (UST) in connection with Mr. Castillo’s death by hazing on September 17 last year.

In a text message on Wednesday, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said the Castillo parents’ petition for review filed against UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo T. Divina and other related petitions have been “all dismissed for procedural lapses.”

A resolution by then Justice Undersecretary Antonio T. Kho, Jr. (since appointed to the Commission on Elections) read in part that “We are constrained to dismiss appellants’ petition by reason that their appeal was clearly filed out of time. The mere filing of Appellants’ Motions for Extension did not extend the period to appeal.”

According to the resolution, Mr. Castillo’s parents, Carmina T. Castillo and Horacio M. Castillo, claimed “receiv(ing) a copy of the Assailed Resolution on 15 March 2018.” This pertains to an earlier DoJ resolution charging members of the Aegis Juris fraternity allegedly involved in the hazing and also clearing Mr. Divina, among others.

On April 2, the Castillos filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review to the DoJ, “praying for an additional period of fifteen (15) days, or until 14 April 2018, within which to file their Petition.”

Mr. Kho’s resolution further noted that Mr. Castillo’s parents “again requested for another period of five (5) days, or until 19 April 2018, within which to file their Petition.”

The resolution said “thirty-five (35) days after receipt of the Assailed Resolution,” the parents “filed their Petition with this Department.”

“The right to appeal may be exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the provisions of the law or pertinent rules of procedure,” the resolution added.

“Accordingly, the instant Petition should be denied due course for failure to comply with the requirements on appeal.” — Gillian M. Cortez