Statement of Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II on the admission to the Witness Protection Program of Mark Anthony B. Ventura in the case of the alleged hazing of Horacio Castillo III

25 October 2017

Yesterday afternoon, Marc Ventura, accompanied by his mother, Merlene Ventura and his counsel, Atty. Ferdie Benitez, went to my office to personally signify his intention to be accepted to the Witness Protection Program.

In the presence of DOJ Undersecretary Erickson H. Balmes, WPP Executive Director Nerissa Carpio, NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Antonio Pagatpat and several chosen operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Ventura narrated to us what he knew about what happened to Horacio “Atio” Castillo III from the time of his admission as a neophyte of the Aegis Juris Fraternity until his initiation rites on the early morning of September 17, 2017.

Mr. Ventura gave us the names of the persons who were present during the initiation rites of Mr. Atio Castillo III. After hearing the narration of Mr. Ventura, I immediately decided to place him under provisional acceptance into the WPP.

Mr. Ventura has already executed his sinumpaang salaysay and the same is being evaluated by our WPP personnel preparatory to his formal admission into the program.

Mr. Ventura’s decision to seek admission into our WPP is a most welcome development in this case as we all endeavor to give justice to Atio’s untimely demise.   

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