DOJ reopens Atio Castillo's case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 12) — Almost four months after the death of University of Sto. Tomas law student Horacio "Atio" Castillo, his parents are still looking for justice.

But they are hopeful that with the testimony of Aegis Juris Fraternity member Marc Ventura - it will bring them closer to that.

The Justice Department has re-opened Atio's case in the light of Ventura's statement.

On Friday, he personally appeared at the DOJ to subscribe to his October 2017 affidavit.

But Attorney Paterno Esmaquel, lawyer of respondent John Paul Solano, objected to the re-opening of the probe, arguing the case has already been submitted for resolution last November.

Esmaquel also clarified with the panel of prosecutors the status of Ventura - if he still remains a respondent.

But Prosecutor Susan Villanueva said it's up to the panel to appreciate Ventura's personality and will be discussed in their resolution.

And for Atio's parents, this is a welcome development.

"Grateful. Pasalamat ako. Siya (Marc) lang, I think, nagkalakas ng loob to say the truth," Horacio Castillo Junior said.

They believe Marc ventura's statement is enough to put those responsible for their son's death behind bars.

"With his statement they cannot deny that a crime has been committed. Hindi nila pwede itanggi yung hazing na nangyari and we have a witness to the crime which I believe would put them all to jail," Karmina Castillo explained.

They still feel the pain of losing their son and miss him.

"To tell you the truth, medyo mabigat pa rin especially after the holidays,"

"We miss him obviously. You know we cannot tell you how painful it is na mawalan ng anak," Atio's mother added.

The respondents were given until January 22nd to respond to Ventura's statement where the panel will also conduct a clarificatory hearing.