Two Aegis Juris fratmen seek bail on Atio case hazing raps
Two of the Aegis Juris fraternity members involved in the fatal hazing of freshman law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III have asked the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 40 to dismiss the charges against them, or at least allow them to post bail or hold the issuance of arrest warrants.
In their omnibus motion, Jose Miguel Salamat and John Robin Ramos argued the evidence of their guilt was not strong to deprive them of the right to temporary liberty.
Since Republic Act Number 8049 penalizes hazing that resulted in death with life imprisonment, the fraternity members in Castillo’s case would not have been allowed to post bail under the Rules on Criminal Procedure.
Salamat and Ramos insisted Castillo did not die because of the paddling he endured in September 2017, but because of a supposed preexisting heart condition called hypertropic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
They also attacked the expertise of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief medico-legal Superintendent Joseph Palmero, who signed the police’s final medico-legal report on Castillo.
The two even went so far as to use Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre’s statement “that the opinion of a non-pathology expert is not an expert opinion” in Palmero’s case, even if the said remark concerned Erwin Erfe of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) who had gone under fire for linking various deaths to the Dengvaxia vaccine despite his dubious credentials.
Salamat and Ramos also asked the court to invalidate Marc Anthony Ventura as a state witness.