Senators to make public Solano testimony
Senators have approved the release of the testimony given by hazing suspect John Paul Solano in an executive session.
The Senate, in its session Wednesday night, adopted Resolution No. 529 which authorizes the chairmen of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights to make public the statements made by Solano in an executive session in relation to the death of freshman law student Horacio "Atio" Castillo III in hazing rites by the Aegis Juris fraternity.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, principal author of the resolution, said the Upper Chamber voted unanimously to reveal Solano's testimony "to help ferret out the truth" and bring "justice to the death of Castillo."
Zubiri said only Sen. Grace Poe and Leila de Lima were not able to sign but have expressed their support for the move.
The two committees are chaired by Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon, respectively, who led
the inquiry last September 25.
Solano, a member of the Aegis Juris fraternity and suspect in the killing of Castillo, during the hearing refused several times to divulge his knowledge and invoked his right against self-incrimination amid the cases he faced before the Department of Justice (DOJ). Solano's camp earlier assailed the filing of cases against him and argued that a preliminary investigation should have been conducted instead.
Solano agreed to go through an executive session with the senators along with his lawyer, Paterno Esmaquel.
"Solano, during the executive session and in the presence of counsel, divulged vital information that will help the authorities solve the case, prosecute the culprits, and give justice to the death of Atio Castillo," the resolution read.
At the hearing, Solano said he would only divulge publicly his knowledge on the fatal hazing rites through a sworn affidavit he would submit to the DOJ.
But, since the Senate hearing, and despite two preliminary investigations conducted by the DOJ, Solano failed to execute a sworn statement and make public all the knowledge that he has on the death of Castillo.
"Solano lied to us by saying he was going to submit his sworn affidavit to the preliminary investigation, so the Committee has decided. We will release his statements," Zubiri said.
Citing Senate rules, the said testimony or any material presented in an executive session "shall not be made public unless authorized by the committee."
Also, the information revealed in the meeting shall remain confidential unless at least two-thirds of the senators voted to lift the ban of secrecy.
Zubiri said Solano has until Monday next week to submit his affidavit to the DOJ. Should he fail to do so, the Senate would reveal his recorded transcript on the same day.
Solano, a medical technologist, earlier pretended to be a concerned citizen who only found Castillo slumped on a sidewalk in Tondo, Manila last September 17. He later confessed in the hearing that Aegis Juris members ordered him to lie in his report to the police.