‘Pure evil’: Senators condemn death of student by alleged hazing

(ABS-CBN) MANILA (2ND UPDATE) — Senators condemned Wednesday the alleged hazing death of chemical engineering student John Matthew Salilig, whose body was found Tuesday in a vacant lot in Cavite more than a week after he went missing. 

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 Juan Miguel Zubiri in a statement.

“Hazing should not be tolerated by any society… Those barbarian perpetrators should all rot in jail for the rest of their lives,” the senator added.

Zubiri said he would deliver a privilege speech on the incident later.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros also condemned the killing of Salilig.

“No ifs and buts – hazing has no place in our society. The full extent of existing laws like the Anti-Hazing Act should be brought down on all who participated in John Matthew’s killing, including those who had knowledge of the crime,” she said.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva described hazing as “pure evil” and called for a “proactive” implementation of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018.

“Hazing and other forms of violence in fraternities and other organizations are pure evil. It needs to end now… In the midst of this new case of hazing, we need to be more pro-active and revisit the law to ensure that it is being implemented properly,” he said.

Sen. Nancy Binay meanwhile called out the supposed failure of school administrations to prevent hazing incidents.

“Wala na ba talaga tayong takot o guilt na manakit ng kapwa? 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,” Binay said.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada also asked authorities to prosecute those involved in Salilig’s death.
“I call on the law enforcers to round up all those involved and privy to the case and hold them accountable to the law… These acts of violence, the criminal acts that continue to be performed in the false name of brotherhood, will not be tolerated,” Estrada said.

P500,000 REWARD

At the House of Representatives, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez offered a P500,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects.

“Brothers do not kill brothers,” Romualdez stressed in a statement. “Frat-related or not, any crime that results to death deserves utmost condemnation.”

Salilig was reported missing on Feb. 20 by his brother. One of the suspects told authorities that the victim allegedly received at least 70 hits in the initiation rites.