Published: Friday 22 September, 2017

John Paul Solano Surrenders to Ping Lacson, Claims Innocence in Atio’s Death

The primary suspect in the hazing death of Horacio ‘Atio’ Castillo III has surrendered. John Paul Solano surrendered to Senator Ping Lacson Friday afternoon after which Lacson turned him over to the Manila Police District.

John Paul Solano

Atio Castillo killing primary suspect John Paul Solano surrenders. (GMA Network photo)

John Paul Solano was brought to the office of Ping Lacson by Nilo Divina, University of Santo Tomas (UST) Civil Law dean. Solano is the principal suspect in the death of Atio Castillo, a UST law freshman who died of his injuries after an apparent hazing during welcoming rites of the Aegis Juris Fraternity. 

Police discovered that Solano gave false statements to the authorities during initial investigation of Castillo’s death. John Paul Solano was also identified by personnel at the Chinese General Hospital as one of the men who brought the dying Horacio Castillo III to the hospital.

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But Solano claimed innocence in the death of Atio. Though a member of Aegis Juris fraternity, he said he was not present during the initiation rites. He was only called upon to check on the victim as a health practitioner. John Paul Solano is a former law student at UST but currently works as a medical technologist at San Lazaro Hospital.

“My involvement was to give medical assistance that time…Because they were in chaos at that time. I was not there. They needed medical assistance. I am a medical health provider so more or less they would call me,” Solano said.

The suspect also said he barely knew Atio Castillo, contrary to police statements that they knew each other and Solano was even Castillo’s recruiter to Aegis Juris.

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“I’m not a law student now. I don’t know him personally. I only met him twice. The first one he told me his name and then the second time was [when] the incident happened,” he said.

“Yes, I did,” the suspect said when asked he tried to resuscitate Castillo. “More or less, he’s half dead. I cannot give a final verdict that he is dead becaues I’m not a doctor. He’s unconscious, I gave CPR and then when I cannot do anything else, I brought him to the hospital.”

John Paul Solano did not go into detail about the night Atio Castillo died. He only said he was called upon by members of Aegis Juris but did not identify who these are. He said his lawyer is preparing an official statement.