9 persons of interest tagged in Adamson frat death still at large, 3 with police
MANILA, Philippines — A total of nine persons of interest (POIs) involved in the death of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig are still at large, according to Imus police case investigator Sgt. Jessie Villanueva on Wednesday.
Salilig’s body was found in Imus, Cavite, on Tuesday, and he was suspected of having died of fraternity-related hazing. Police initially said that at least 15 people were involved in the case but later revised this number to 12 upon follow-up investigation, Villanueva told INQUIRER.net.
Out of these 12, one is confirmed as a suspect, and there are 11 POIs. Only three have come forward to the Philippine National Police (PNP), said Villanueva, but clarified that they were only invited to the station and are not under police custody.
When asked about the status of the remaining nine, Villanueva said that they are still “at large.”
“Aalamin na lang is yung level of participation ng bawat isa, so regardless kung pupunta sila sa station o hindi, basta ma-confirm kung ano yung level of participation nila, doon na kikilos ang Biñan PNP kung sasampahan sila ng kaso or isasama sila as witnesses,” he said.
(We are finding out the level of participation of each one, so regardless if they go to the station or not, once we confirm what their level of participation is, that is when the Biñan PNP will act on whether or not they will file a case or be counted as a witness.)
Some of the likely cases to be filed are violations of the Anti-Hazing Law, said Villanueva.
He also explained that the individuals are only considered as POIs after three of the 12 people asked to have their involvement evaluated by the prosecutor’s office of Biñan.
According to Villanueva, this was confirmed as a hazing incident, although it is called a welcome rite.
“Si victim, member na siya ng Tau Gamma Phi ng Zamboanga, tapos gusto niya ma-recognize as member ng Adamson chapter ng Tau Gamma Phi, so pagka-ganun daw, ang rules ng Tau Gamma Phi, is back to zero ka. So you have to be welcomed kung ano yung procedure nila. Yung sabi is, from 60 to 70 na palo ng paddle. Siguro dahil sa trauma, hindi kinayanan, kaya ganun po ang nangyari,” said Villanueva.
(The victim was a member of the Tau Gamma Phi in Zamboanga, and he wanted to be recognized as a member of the Adamson chapter of the Tau Gamma Phi, so in that case, the rules of the Tau Gamma Phi is that you are back to zero. So you have to be welcomed according to their procedure. They said that it is 60 to 70 slaps from the paddle. Perhaps because of the trauma, he could not handle it, and that is why that happened.)
Villanueva added that Biñan police would go to Adamson University in Manila to get more details about what happened leading up to Salilig’s death.