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Aegis Juris leader last to paddle Atio, says new state witness

The Department of Justice placed ex-Aegis Juris fratman Marc Ventura under the witness protection program for his testimony.

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Barricade tapes currently surround the office of Aegis Juris on Laon Laan St. as police investigations on the death of law freshman Horacio Castillo III continue. Photo by Christel Maliksi/TomasinoWeb.

A new state witness says Aegis Juris Fraternity leader Arvin Balag was fifth and last to hit Horacio “Atio” Castillo III with a paddle before the Faculty of Civil Law freshman collapsed and lost consciousness.

Former Aegis Juris fratman Marc Anthony Ventura issued a sworn statement before the Department of Justice (DOJ) identifying Ralph Trangia, Axel Hipe, Balag and an unidentified member as the ones who hit Castillo during the hazing rites.

A total of 23 individuals were present in the initiation rites of the law freshman, according to Ventura’s statement.

The former Aegis Juris member was placed under the witness protection program for his testimony and charges filed against him before the DOJ will also be dropped.

Ventura’s statement indicated that Castillo’s paddling commenced at 5 a.m., three hours after the rites started with a prayer at 2 a.m.

He also stated that the law freshman fell to his knees on the third strike and was hit again by an unidentified member.

“Atio” collapsed on the fifth hit by Balag and was made to sit on a chair and smell amonia so he would wake up.

Ventura also saw someone checking Castillo’s pulse as well as talking to him. The group began panicking when he was still unconscious after 15 to 20 minutes.

Balag instructed the other members to drip candle wax on Castillo’s chest and foot but was still unresponsive.

Fratman Robin Ramos suggested to bring Castillo to a hospital but Balag hesitated in fear of being held by hospital personnel.

Balag eventually agreed discussing with other fraternity members and left the fraternity library to see his driver and fetch his vehicle, followed by Trangia.

Ventura said that Castillo was loaded to a truck but Balag ordered to bring him back to the library and was resuscitated by Hipe.

He also said that “Atio” vomited and his eyes responded to the light coming from a cellular phone.

Aegis Juris member John Paul Solano performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and instructed other members to massage the law freshman’s hands and feet.

Solano suggested to bring Castillo to the hospital after noticing the neophyte’s pulse rate drop to “borderline” level.

Solano rode his motorcycle when they brought Castillo on a red pick-up to the Chinese General Hospital while a black vehicle carried Balag. Castillo was pronounced dead on arrival.

Ventura is the second member of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, after Solano, who spoke about Castillo’s death on Sept. 17 in the hands of the fraternity’s members. — M.W.D.P

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UST aces November 2019 nursing boards

The University posted a perfect passing rate in the November 2019 licensure examinations for nurses with 16 Thomasians in the topnotchers.

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The University posted a perfect passing rate in the November 2019 licensure examinations for nurses with 16 Thomasians in the topnotchers.

Jarwin Vincent Lumauig led the new batch of 338 Thomasian nurses after placing third in the topnotchers with 88.40-percent score.

Jana Aryn Apolinar and Phil Justine Soriano took the fourth spot with 88.20 percent score, followed by Bennette Salazar and Sheline Tumaliuan at placing fifth with 88 percent

John Reynel Tamayo placed sixth with 87.80 percent, and Maria-Jayne Lerma, Yannah Mae Loyola, and Jireh Li Piñol at ninth with 87.20 percent score.

John Howell Diric, Aaron Kyle Enriquez, Nicson Madulid, Patricia Dianne Melo, Clarice Gabrielle Sanchez, Arabelle Mae Tiu, and Marie Abigail Turingan all placed in the tenth spot with 87-percent rate.

Shaina Kei Watanabe of Davao Doctors College, Inc. topped the exams with a rating of 89.60 percent.

The University took the top spot along with Saint Louis University with all 191 examinees passing, and the De La Salle Medicine and Health Sciences Institute with all 67 examinees passing.

The national passing rate improved to 55.20 percent or 7,627 out of 13,816 examinees making it to the cut from last year’s 39.98 percent or 4,811 out of 12,033 passing.

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Paskuhan opening pushes through despite ‘Tisoy’

The University’s annual Paskuhan festivities kicked-off despite storm warning signal number 2 raised over Metro Manila due to typhoon Tisoy Monday, Dec. 2.

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Photo by Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb

The University’s annual Paskuhan festivities kicked-off despite storm warning signal number 2 raised over Metro Manila due to typhoon Tisoy Monday, Dec. 2.

According to UST Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Jesus Miranda, O.P., the Paskuhan opening would have been moved to Dec. 10 if weather becomes unpredictable.

“It can be moved on December 10 sana. Pero again it was not moved,” the secretary-general told TomasinoWeb.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso led the opening of the Harry Potter-themed Christmas décor around the campus and expressed his gratitude to the University in achieving a ‘vibrant Manila’ again.

“Thank you, UST. And hopefully we can continue to work together, the government, the institutions, [private coroporations], at tao. Sana talaga magtuloy-tuloy talaga ang Manila to be vibrant again,” Domagoso said in his video in Manila Public Information Office.

Vice-Mayor Honey Lacuña also attended the opening ceremonies.

Aside from the free food and fireworks, a drone light show was also held at the open field, a new addition in this year’s Paskuhan opening.

According to the Central Student Council (CSC), this year’s Paskuhan theme is “Unto us a Child is born” from Harry Potter and winter wonderland.

They urged the Thomasian community to support the upcoming Paskuhan activities.

The UST Christmas concert will be on Dec. 5 and 6 while the Paskuhan concert will be on Dec. 20, 2019. R. Velasco

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UST slips in September 2019 teachers boards

The University placed fifth top-performing school in the September 2019 elementary level licensure examinations for teachers (LET) and sixth in secondary level, while a Thomasian landed in the tenth spot of the elementary teachers boards.

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The University placed fifth top-performing school in the September 2019 elementary level licensure examinations for teachers (LET) and sixth in secondary level, while a Thomasian landed in the tenth spot of the elementary teachers boards.

In the elementary level, UST dropped to fifth spot from being a top-performing school for five consecutive years despite having a higher passing rate from 86.78 percent last year to 88.60 percent this year or 101 out of 114 examinees passing the exams. 

From fourth last year, the University landed sixth in the secondary level top-performing schools after posting a rating of 88.57 percent or 155 out of 175 exam takers from last year’s 91.94 percent.

Alexa Maria Andrea Manlutac shared the tenth place of the elementary level topnotchers with 11 others with a rating of 89.80 percent. 

Kezia Ambag of Philippine Normal University-Mindanao, Joshua Canseco of Mindanao State University-General Santos, and Anjo Literatus of Saint Mary’s College-Tagum led the new batch of elementary teachers after garnering a rate of 92.60 percent.

Marlou Camano of University of Mindanao-Kidapawan took the top spot in the secondary level LET after scoring 93.40 percent.

University of Southeastern Philippines-Tagum was named this year’s top-performing school for the elementary level with 96.07-percent passing rate, while the University of the Philippines-Los Baños topped in the secondary level with 98 percent passing rate.

The national passing rate for elementary teachers increased to 31.34 percent or 28,973 out of  92,440 examinees passing the exams from last year’s 20.29 percent or 18,409 out of 90,750 examinees.

In the secondary level, the national passing rate dropped to 39.68 percent, or 54,179 out of 136,523 examinees from last year’s 48.03 percent, or 60,803 out of 126,582 exam takers. A. Basa

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