Connect with us

News

Admin says it declared ‘day of mourning’ for Atio’s death, denies claims of indifference

The said Day of Mourning and Prayer last Sept. 21 coincided with the state-declared National Day of Protest.

Published

on

Colleagues of fatal hazing victim Horacio Castillo III offer candles and prayers during a vigil at the Faculty of Civil Law lobby, Sept. 18. Photo by Mark Darius Sulit/TomasinoWeb.

The University denied on Friday, Oct. 20, that it was indifferent to the death of its slain law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III.

In a statement released on its Facebook page, UST expressed its concern over the “inaccurate portrayal” of its efforts to help with the fatal hazing case of Castillo.

“At no point did the University indicate lack of interest concerning the death of Horacio,” the post read.

Sen. Francis Escudero previously slammed the University administration in a press briefing last Thursday, Oct. 19, for its supposed apathy on the death of the law freshman.

“[UST] pa naman [ay] isang religious school. Sila pa dapat ‘yung nangunguna sana para magbigay ng magandang ehemplo, lalo partikular na sa pagpapaharap sa pananagutan ng sino mang liable sa krimeng ito,” Escudero said.

The senator added, “Actually, mula nang mangyari [‘yung pagkamatay ni Castillo] wala pa ‘kong narinig na opisyal ng UST na nagsalita tungkol dito, labas sa Faculty of Civil Law o labas kay Dean [Nilo] Divina.”

UST, however, claimed it has shown grief since the news of Castillo’s death broke out.

“On the first day that the news broke out, the University manifested its grief, offered prayers, and conveyed its profound sympathy to the family of Horacio,” it posted.

“It condemned the senseless act of violence and declared a day of mourning,” the statement further read.

The declaration of the said Day of Mourning and Prayer last Sept. 21 coincided with the state-declared National Day of Protest.

UST suspended classes and office work on that day but offered a concelebrated mass at the Santisimo Rosario Parish in observance of the Day of Mourning and Prayer during the enthronement rites of the image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.

READ  Aegis Juris fratmen tagged in Atio hazing case now under NBI custody

There was no explicit mention of Castillo in the said declaration from the Office of the Secretary-General.

The University also affirmed that it created an investigation committee that coordinated with the Manila Police District and the National Bureau of Investigation, “which led to the identification of the members of the fraternity and possible perpetrators of the crime.”

Castillo was a 22-year-old freshman who died of heart attack after undergoing hazing rites performed by members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

Comments

News

Martial law victims slam Marcos day

Martial Law victims condemned the approval of House Bill No. 7137 bill declaring Sept. 11 a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte to commemorate the birth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

Published

on

Martial Law victims condemned the approval of House Bill No. 7137 bill declaring Sept. 11 a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte to commemorate the birth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Executive Director Ma. Cristina Rodriguez said that it is “harmful to the country’s history” as it could generate misleading facts that can confuse younger generations. 

“Kapag hinayaan mo ang probinsya niya na i-honor parin siya, ang harm niyan hindi lang sa probinsya niya kung hindi sa buong bansa,” Rodriguez said. 

According to Rodriguez, the Marcoses should be held accountable for the youth to understand the atrocities during Martial Law. 

She stressed that Ilocos Norte should instead “be ashamed” as they “fully benefited” from Marcos, while Mindanao was bombed and Cagayan Valley and Samar’s forest were industrially logged. 

“Sa totoo lang ang dapat maging attitude ng mga taga-Ilocos Norte ay bumawi naman kayo. ‘Wag niyo nang igasgas sa sugat ang asin,” Rodriguez said. 

Rodriguez also said that the national government should not acknowledge the bill to “hold a moral position” on the abuses inflicted by the Marcoses. 

“Yung mga nakinabang sa Martial Law at sa panahon ni Marcos gusto nila ‘yan. Dapat yung ating pagsusulat ng kasaysayan at pagtuturo ng kasaysayan ay tama,” Martial Law political prisoner Cris Palabay said. 

Palabay urged the youth not to forget the atrocities during the Martial Law. 

“Huwag po tayong matakot, lagi ko nga po sinasabi yung culture of fear, culture of silence, dapat yan ay labanan, tiyak yan, mas maraming magagandang mangyayari,” Palabay said. 

The webinar, “Francisco de Vitoria: Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao – Talakayang Batas Militar” was organized by UST SIMBAHAYAN Community Development Office to shed light on the abuse of human rights amid the pandemic. Cherizza Mae Bautista

READ  UST improves in May 2018 civil eng’g boards

Comments

Continue Reading

News

Filipino environmental advocates demand for ‘better normal’

Filipino youth advocates on climate change and various environmental organizations on Wednesday, Sept. 23, demanded a “better normal” to put everyone, and the environment in front.

Published

on

Filipino youth advocates on climate change and various environmental organizations on Wednesday, Sept. 23, demanded a “better normal” to put everyone, and the environment in front.

“As youth leaders, as young people, we have been active in different forms of advocacy work to forward our legitimate concerns on government policies, but particularly those related to environment and climate, and to those policies that will directly affect us,” said youth representative Jeff Estela during the online press conference.

Estela stressed the recent suppression of the freedom of speech, following the passage of the Anti-Terror Law.

Last July, youth environmental activist Greta Thunberg called to repeal the said law, citing that it equates environmental activism with terrorist activities.

“With the current move and actions of the government, this can be used to intensify the intimidation, fear-mongering, and the present attacks on the environmental defenders and advocates,” Estela said.

Environmental lawyer and activist Atty. Antonio La Viña emphasized the need of the youth to make strong demands, and to take direct action to appeal to the decision makers.

“I think the time now is to be really radical about the solutions,” he said.

La Viña highlighted the benefit of listening to indigenous people, as it will prevent further damage in nature such as the construction of Kaliwa Dam.

Yung climate change is not about carbon. It is not about emissions, ‘di ba? It’s not about markets. It’s on people,” he said. “Tao. Lalo na mahihirap.

Transition of renewable energy, according to La Viña, produces sustainable and cheap energy for everyone.

“Renewable energy is the future, the economics are there for it, and we just have to take very strong action to go to the transition very close to energy,” he said.

The online press conference, “National Youth Demands: Youth Declaration for Climate Justice,” with the theme “Para sa Klimabukasan,” was organized by Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines in solidarity with global movements inspired by Thunberg. Vhey Dela Cruz Tapia

READ  USTv Student Media Awards aims to seek the truth

Comments

Continue Reading

News

‘Democratic spaces shrink amid COVID-19 pandemic’—PhilRights exec

Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) executive director expressed concern over reduction of civic and democratic spaces in the country as an effect of the “worsening spate” of extra-judicial killings amid COVID-19 pandemic. 

Published

on

Photo grabbed from the official Facebook page of UST Simbahayan

Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) executive director expressed concern over reduction of civic and democratic spaces in the country as an effect of the “worsening spate” of extra-judicial killings amid COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Transparency and accountability are not government priorities. A culture of impunity continues to be perpetuated by the government,” PhilRights Executive Director Nymia Pimentel-Simbulan said. 

Simbulan, who is also the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of UP Manila, emphasized that passing the Anti-Terror Law of 2020 and lowering the age of criminal liability are “anti-people policies” propagated by the government’s legal apparatus. 

“Part of the efforts of the government to discourage protest actions, political actions intended to call the attention of the government to policies and programs that are anti-people is the framing of civic participation as a destabilizing force,” she said.

Duterte’s core principle of governance

Simbulan condemned the blatant red-tagging of democrative defenders and government critics that recently claimed the lives of Randall Echanis and Zara Alvarez, further highlighting the 2019 Global Peace Index which placed the Philippines as the second least peaceful country in the Asia-Pacific. 

She noted that the government playbook normalizes violence as there are efforts being undertaken by the administration to “make people accept violence” as part of their daily lives.

“President Duterte’s core principle of governance is violence, and even the international community has not failed to recognize this,” Simbulan said. 

However, Simbulan said that there are “glimmers of hope” in different forms of resistance such as continued mobilizations, documentations, and lobbying of petitions in Congress and Supreme Court. 

The webinar titled, “Francisco de Vitoria Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao” was spearheaded by the UST – Simbahayan Community Development Program as a part of the annual human rights activities series every September.

Comments

Continue Reading

Trending