Lawmakers condemn brutal, fatal ‘fraternity’ rites involving Adamson student

Lawmakers condemn brutal, fatal ‘fraternity’ rites involving Adamson student

MANILA — Lawmakers from the Upper Chamber on Wednesday released official press statements condemning the brutal “fraternity rites” that killed a young Adamson U chemical engineering student.

The victim’s battered body was found dumped on an open field in Imus, Cavite province after he went missing on February 18.

Police said the victim, John Matthew Salilig, was last seen with members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity in Biñan City, Laguna province.

Lt. Col. Virgilio Jopia of the Biñan police told TV Patrol that law enforcers at least “18 suspects” might have been involved and that the vehicle they used had been identified based on security camera videos obtained.

One of the suspects, who is now under police custody, said Salilig received at least 70 blows to the body during the initiation rites, and that one of the frat brothers gave the instruction to “dispose” of the body.

“I urgently call on our law enforcement to immediately hunt down and arrest the suspects behind the death of John Matthew Salilig, and ensure that they are dealt with using the full force of our Anti-Hazing Law,” Senate President Migz Zubiri said.

“Nakakapanghina pong magising sa balita na may isa na namang batang nasawi dahil sa hazing. My prayers and condolences go out to John’s family and friends, as well as my assurance that we are with them in finding justice for his death.”

“Our laws are clear on this: any individuals who participated in hazing that leads to the victim’s death is punishable with reclusion perpetua.”

For his part, Senator Jinggoy Estrada said “the latest victim of violent initiation rites by a fraternity proves that perpetrators of this crime are unperturbed by the existence of the Anti-Hazing Law which provides for stiffer penalties covering all forms of hazing.

“I believe that the existing law, RA 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 has enough teeth to hold the perpetrators accountable. I call on the law enforcers to round up all those involved and privy to the case and hold them accountable to the law. Although John Matthew’s wasted life cannot be brought back, we may be able to save others in the future and remind members of fraternities, sororities and other similar organizations that these acts of violence are a serious crime and they have no lawlessness. These acts of violence, the criminal acts that continue to be performed in the false name of brotherhood, will not be tolerated,” Estrada added.

Sen. Nancy Binay also released an official press statement condemning the latest fatal hazing incident involving a young student.

“Wala na ba talaga tayong takot o guilt na manakit ng kapwa?

Until now–kahit meron ng RA 11053–naririyan pa rin ang vicious cycle of physical abuse, at ibang forms of abuse–tapos ngayon, gusto uli nating ibalik ang ROTC na kilala sa ganyang practices. On- or off-campus, our schools are supposed to be safe spaces for our children. But sadly, schools, administrators and even law enforcement agencies fail to seriously check and monitor organizations na patuloy pa rin sa tradisyunal na initiation rites.

Kaisa ako sa nanawagan ng hustisya para kay John Matthew–and those who participated in the violent act must be held fully accountable.

Bilang isang magulang, ramdam ko ang kirot na pinagdadaanan ng pamilya Salilig. Lagi kong sinasabi na hazing has laid claim to many senseless deaths–not to mention the perpetual and unimaginable pain that families of victims go through.”

(Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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