Atio quips trip Kapunan

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University of Santo Tomas (UST) Law Dean Nilo Divina claimed vindication in the indictment of lawyer Lorna Kapunan for unjust vexation for statements she made in connection with the hazing of Horacio “Atio” Castillo.

A Department of Justice (DoJ) resolution dated 28 August 2018 said Kapunan’s statement that Divina was being “an obstructionist to justice” and her claim that as the Dean of the UST Faculty of Law he “appears to be above the law” has undoubtedly caused “annoyance, irritation, vexation, torment, distress or disturbance to the mind of the complainant.”

Unjust vexation is a crime under Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code and is considered a form of coercion.

Dean vindicated

When reached for his reaction, Dean Divina said: “I have already been vindicated with the final dismissal of the criminal complaints against me by the family of Atio.”

“This indictment against the Castillo family’s lawyer further proves that I have been similarly wronged through their false accusations,” he added.

“Atty. Kapunan has not only committed a crime by spreading falsehoods against me but has also seriously violated the Code of Professional Responsibility of lawyers,” he stressed. “One can be an effective advocate without resorting to below-the-belt tactics and spreading rumors disguised as facts. That is highly unbecoming of a lawyer.”

By association

Divina’s complaint had stemmed from statements made by Kapunan at the height of the investigation of Atio’s death as a result of supposed hazing by Aegis Juris fraternity members.

Divina, an alumnus of the fraternity, was included in the charges for purportedly coddling his fraternity brothers who were implicated in the death of Castillo.

He had vehemently denied any knowledge of the hazing incident and had openly expressed outrage over the incident.

The DoJ earlier had dismissed the criminal complaints against him for lack of evidence.

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