The United States’ Department of Homeland Security had offered to help the Philippine government in locating and returning a member of the Aegis Juris fraternity allegedly involved in the fatal hazing of a University of Santo Tomas (UST) freshman law student, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said.
Aguirre said the Department of Justice (DOJ) had talked to the American agency to bring back Ralph Trangia, one of the principal suspects in the killing of Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III. Trangia flew to the U.S. together with his mother, Rosemarie, on September 19.
“Nagparamdam na ang Department of Homeland Security kung gusto raw ng Pilipinas (The Department of Homeland Security had asked the Philippines if it needs) any help for the return of Trangia,” he said in a news conference on Friday.
The DOJ secretary said the parents of Castillo, during their meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte last Wednesday, had requested the chief executive to have Trangia’s passport be cancelled by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) so he could be brought back to the Philippines.
“Pinagbilinan ako ng presidente: ‘you remind me during the cabinet meeting so I could instruct the DFA.’ So that’s what I did and the President called the representative, I think he’s the undersecretary of the DFA, to make representations with the U.S., with the Secretary of State of the US, what it could do in order that this supposed Aegis member, in the name of Trangia, be deported back to the Philippines,” he said.
However, Aguirre noted, the DFA could not simply cancel the suspect’s passport as it would still undergo a stringent process.
“Hindi naman basta-basta ganoon kadali, mayroong mga grounds, mayroon mga conditions na hinihingi ang Department of Foreign Affairs before it could cancel the passport (It’s not easy because the DFA would ask for specific grounds and conditions before it could cancel the passport),” he said. /jpv
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