The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said on Thursday it has launched a separate investigation into the death of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig, allegedly due to hazing.
“CHR Region IV-A has initiated its independent motu proprio investigation on this violent incident,” CHR said in a statement.
“The tragic death of John Matthew is a loss that should never have happened. It is a clear violation of the victim's human rights and a failure of those responsible for their safety and welfare,” it added.
The commission expressed condolences to Salilig’s family and loved ones and called for justice to be served.
The CHR called on the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and other concerned agencies for “urgent” and “steady” efforts for the progress of the case.
For the CHR, the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 should be implemented in a stronger manner.
“In a previous statement, CHR urged PNP, CHED, and school administrations to enact systems, policies, and mechanisms to put an end to the antithetical culture of hazing,” it said.
The CHR also called on the public to speak out against hazing and refuse to participate in any hazing rituals.
It said that hazing, “as a ritualistic act of humiliation and degradation, goes against the basic principles of fundamental rights and human dignity.”
“Its serious consequences against the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of individuals, most especially minors, should have no place in academic institutions.”
CHED commits to ending hazing
For its part, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) urged the police to expedite the investigation into the death of Salilig so that proper charges would be filed against the perpetrators.
In a statement signed by CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera III, the agency condoled with the family of Salilig and committed to ending the hazing culture in colleges.
“CHED strongly condemns hazing and all forms of violence in our institutions of higher learning,” it said.
“CHED will remain steadfast in its unceasing efforts to rid our higher education institutions of hazing and all forms of senseless acts of violence,” it added.
The agency also called on higher education stakeholders, including school personnel and students, to work together and strive “to end this culture of violence that continues to plague our institutions of higher learning.”
On Tuesday, the body of Salilig, a third year chemical engineering student at Adamson University in Manila, was found more than a week after he was last seen alive.
Biñan police said persons of interest whom they invited for investigation pointed to where Salilig had been buried.
A fraternity neophyte on Wednesday positively identified six persons of interest who were invited to the police station to give their respective statements regarding the incident.
They underwent inquest proceedings on Thursday at the Department of Justice.
Eight suspects are still at large, according to the police.
Meanwhile, the remains of Salilig had already arrived in his hometown of Zamboanga City on Thursday. He was scheduled to be buried on Saturday. —Joviland Rita and Giselle Ombay/AOL/VBL, GMA Integrated News