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Civil Law dean denies meeting Atio days before hazing

Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina filed a counter-affidavit denying that he met with Castillo on Sept. 12.



Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina submitted a 30-page counter-affidavit denying any liability in the death of freshman law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III. Photo courtesy of Mong Pintolo/The Philippine Star.

Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina submitted on Monday his counter-affidavit before the Department of Justice (DOJ) denying any liability in the death of freshman law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, who was allegedly killed due to hazing rites.

Along with his 30-page counter-affidavit, Divina attached copies of CCTV footages from his law firm to prove Castillo did not meet with him on September 12, as Atio’s parents Horacio and Carmina claimed.

Atio’s parents, assisted by their lawyer Lorna Kapunan whom Divina sued for libel thrice, filed a complaint against the dean for murder and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.

Kapunan’s son Lino, who is also co-counsel in the case, said Atio paid a courtesy call on Divina as a neophyte of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, which Divina is also a member of.

The Castillo camp used a text conversation as evidence between Carmina and her son on September 12, where Atio said he was at a law firm near “Petron gas along Buendia” where the Divina Law firm happens to be in that area.

Divina however said that he prohibited organizations at the UST Faculty of Civil Law including the fraternity from recruiting freshmen.

“Atio did not even mention my name or my law firm. Indeed, there must be at least a dozen law firms in the Petron area. In our building lane, there are several law firms. There is simply nothing in the foregoing text exchange that can be construed as indicative of actual prior knowledge on my part of the hazing that was to be conducted on September 17,” Divina said in his counter-affidavit.

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Also, Divina said in his counter-affidavit that organizations wishing to conduct initiation rites seek approval not from his office, but from the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) which has the duty to appoint school representatives to be present during initiation rites.

Divina said that Aegis Juris did not ask permission from OSA and that he cannot be accused of a cover-up because he had done all he could to help with the investigation.

He also said that the reason why he did not immediately called Atio’s parents about their son’s death on September 17 was because he only heard an unconfirmed report from the Faculty Secretary Arthur Capili.

Divina only received initial details from news reports in the morning of Sept. 18.

“Up to that point, none of the police authorities had gotten in touch with me. I took it upon myself to write General Joel Napoleon Coronel, the head of the Manila Police District, requesting for a dialogue to enable us in the Faculty of Civil Law to implement whatever measures you think is necessary to assist the police in its investigation,” Divina said.

Also, Divina said that he does not know the officers of the fraternity and their contact details as he is a non-active member of Aegis Juris.

Divina added that he considers quitting the fraternity but said that the decision would have to be made after the case.



UST retains spot in 2019 QS world ranking, fourth in PH top universities



The University retained its spot on the 801-1,000 bracket of the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, placing fourth among the Philippine universities that made it on the list.

The University of the Philippines kept its place as the country’s top university despite going down in the 384th place from last year’s 367th.

Ateneo de Manila University went down to the 651-700 bracket from the 551-600 last year.

Moreover, De La Salle University joined UST in the 801-1,000 bracket after dropping from last year’s 701-750 bracket.

Despite remaining unmoved from its last year’s spot, UST remained as the only Philippine university to receive a QS four-star rating.

A four-star rated university is “highly international, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching,” the QS Top Universities website stated.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was hailed again for the seventh-straight year as the top university in the world.

The National University of Singapore dethroned the Nanyang Technological University as the best in Asia, placing 11th worldwide.

The universities are evaluated based on six factors: academic reputation (40%) , employer reputation (10%) ,  faculty/student ratio (20%) , citations per faculty (20%), international faculty ratio (5%), and international student ratio (5%).—B. Laforga



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UST slumps in May 2018 chemical eng’g boards



The University posted a lower passing rate in the May 2018 licensure examination for chemical engineers.

UST registered a 20.69-percent passing rate, wherein only six out of 29 Thomasians passed. Last year, the University garnered a passing rate of 58.82 percent, with 20 out of 34 Thomasian passers.

However, no Thomasians made it to the roster of topnotchers.

Peter Matthew Paul Toribio Fowler of Mapua Institute of Technology-Manila led the new batch of chemical engineers with a score of 83 percent. Meanwhile, De La Salle University-Manila remained as the top performing school, recording a 96.55-percent passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 296 out of 636 examinees nationwide passed the board exam.


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UST posts lower passing rate in May 2018 accountancy boards



The University posted a lower passing rate in the May 2018 licensure examination for certified public accountants.

UST recorded a 68-percent passing rate in which 68 out of 100 Thomasians passed. This was lower than last year’s passing rate of 71.82 percent or 79 out of the 110 Thomasian examinees. 

However, no Thomasian made it to the top ten highest scorers.

Jayson Ong Chan of Saint Paul School of Professional Studies – Palo led the new batch of accountants with a score of 92.50 percent. Meanwhile, De La Salle University-Manila was named as the top performing school with a passing rate of 90.11 percent.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 2,843 out of 9,830 examinees nationwide passed the board exam.



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