By Amado Inigo
Coconuts photo courtesy
MANILA — Senate President Migz Zubiri on Friday lauded the Department of Justice for its swift action on the case of John Matthew Salilig and the indictment of seven fraternity members linked to the gruesome death of the engineering student of Adamson U.
“I also thank the Philippine National Police for being hot on the trail of the suspects. Our law enforcement agencies’ quick and firm action and apprehension are the best deterrent to crime,” Zubiri said.
“This serves as a cold warning to our fraternities that the Anti-Hazing Law is at work, and that when you commit a crime, the long arm of the law will find you and justice will be served.”
“Sa mga pasaway at patuloy na nagsasagawa ng hazing, sinisiguro ko sa inyong wala kayong ligtas sa Anti-Hazing Law. Haharapin niyo rin ang batas, at mabubulok rin kayo sa kulungan,” the lawmaker from Mindano added.
It was gathered that government prosecutors found probable cause against the seven Tau Gamma Phi fraternity members for two (2) counts of hazing which led to the death of the 17-year-old Adamson U engineering student and the injury of another recruit.
In a press conference on Wednesday, the DOJ said all of the seven frat members “planned and actually participated in hazing the recruits by way of paddling.”
“The complainants were likewise able to establish that the injuries sustained by John Matthew Salilig led to his death,” it said.
Aside from Salilig, the panel of prosecutors identified Roi Osmond Dela Cruz as another recruit who sustained injuries as a result of the initiation rites which accordingly a prerequisite or requirement for admission into the Adamson University chapter of the fraternity.
Named as respondents who will be charged with violation of sections 14(a) and 14(b)(1) of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 (RA 8049 as amended by RA 11053) are:
Earl Anthony Osita Romero a.k.a. “Slaughter”;
Tung Cheng Benitez Teng, Jr. a.k.a. “Nike”;
Jerome Ochoco Balot a.k.a. “Allie”
Sandro Dasalla Victorino a.k.a. “Loki”;
Michael Lambert Alcazar Ricalde a.k.a. “Alcazar”
Mark Muñoz Pedrosa a.k.a. “Macoy”; and
Daniel Delos Reyes Perry a.k.a. “Sting’
Section 14(a) of the Anti-Hazing law punishes those who planned or participated in hazing which led to death with reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years in prison and a fine of P3 million while section 14(b)(1) of the law imposes the same jail time and a fine of P2 million pesos on those who planned and participated in hazing.
The first six (6) respondents were arrested on March 1 after they were invited to the Biñan, Laguna police station.
The seventh respondent, Perry, surrendered the following day to Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla.
It was claimed that based on the findings of the prosecutors, all of the seven respondents were present during the initiation rites on February 18, 2023, in Biñan, Laguna.
The two criminal charges will be filed before the Biñan, Laguna regional trial court, according to DOJ spokesperson Asec. Mico Clavano.
Joeffrey Salilig, father of the victim, said the family was happy with the development.
He called on schools and authorities to abolish fraternities, adding those who are responsible for the incident, including educational institutions, should be held accountable.
He also said that the Anti-Hazing Act should be amended.
The victim was reported missing by his brother on February 20. His body was found on Tuesday, February 28, in a remote site in Cavite, after a fraternity member brought the police to the location.