Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta on Thursday said the agency will not help fraternity members linked to the hazing of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig due to conflict of interest.
At a press conference, Acosta said the family of Salilig and another hazing victim in Cebu had already approached PAO for help.
“Hindi namin sila tutulungan, conflict of interest. Lumapit sila sa mga private lawyers. Ang lakas ng loob nilang mangbugbog tapos ngayon lalapit sa PAO? Eh, nauna yung biktima eh,” Acosta said.
(We will not help them, conflict of interest. They should approach private lawyers. They’re so gutsy when beating someone up and now they want to approach PAO? The victim approached first.)
“Oh, bakit natin papayagan na mag PAO vs. PAO. Conflict yan. Lumapit sila, humanap sila. Kaya kayo gagawa kayo ng krimen tapos gusto niyo PAO, pagtanggol kayo,” she added.
(Why should we allow it to be PAO vs. PAO. That is conflict. They should seek someone else. They will commit crimes and then they want PAO to defend them?)
Acosta issued the remark when asked what PAO will do should the persons of interest approach PAO for lawyers.
On Tuesday, the body of Salilig, 24, was found in a shallow grave in Imus, Cavite, more than a week after he was last seen alive.
“Dapat kaso nila murder. Lalo yan ibinaon, inilbing, aba'y concealment of the corpus delicti. Sino matutuwa diyan?” Acosta said.
(They should be charged with murder. They buried the body, there was concealment of the corpus delicti. Who will be happy with this?)
On Wednesday, a fraternity neophyte positively identified six persons of interest allegedly involved in the hazing. All are members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity.
Police on early Thursday escorted the six persons of interest to the Departm ent of Justice prosecution building for inquest proceedings.
Meanwhile, Acosta said she will award the police personnel in Imus.
“Eh, kailangan ang ating law enforces kumilos. Kaya nga yung kapulisan natin, bibigyan natin ng premyo yang mga pulis Imus na yan. Bibigyan natin ng premyo yan. Ang bibilis kumilos,” she said.
(We need law enforcement to act. So we will reward the Imus police. We will reward them. They act fast.)
She said there is also no implementation of the Anti-Hazing Law and that it should be revisited.
“Para sa akin kulang, walang pangil, at implementasyon. May penalty diyan eh. Pero walang implementation. At pag dating sa husgado dapat yung batas, ‘yung ngipin ng batas, hindi pabababain ang sitensya,” she said.
(It is lacking for me, there is no bite and implementation. There’s a penalty there. But there’s no implementation. The courts should not lower the penalties.)
Several senators have called for the full implementation of the Anti-Hazing Law after the death of Salilig. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News