3 more persons of interest in Salilig's death expected to surrender —police

By JOVILAND RITA,GMA Integrated News

Three more persons of interest in the death of Adamson University chemical engineering student John Matthew Salilig have expressed  their intention to surrender, police said in an Unang Balita report on Friday.

Laguna Provincial Police director Police Colonel Randy Silvio said three persons of interest have inquired about the procedures for surrendering.

“I think mga tatlo na 'yung nagtatanong sa akin kung papaano sumuko (I think three already asked me how to surrender),” Silvio said in Jonathan Andal's report on Unang Balita.

“Sabi lang namin mag-proceed lang sa Biñan or doon sa malapit na police station para hindi na sila matakot, escort-an na sila papuntang Biñan City Police,” he added.

(We told them to just proceed to Biñan City Police or to the nearest police station and they would be escorted to Biñan City Police.)

Interviewed on Unang Balita, Biñan City Police acting chief  Police Lieutenant Colonel Virgilio Jopia said the police are expecting more or less two persons of interest to surrender soon, possibly within the day.

“Meron po tayong inaasahan na mag-surrender dito sa ating himpilan, more or less dalawa po (We are expecting more or less two persons of interest to surrender in our station),” Jopia said.


Currently, there are still 10 persons of interest in the death of Salilig allegedly due to hazing who are still at large.

Seven persons of interest are already in police custody — six who have already been slapped with complaints and one who surrendered to authorities on Thursday.

According to Jopia, the police already obtained the addresses of the remaining persons of interest.

“Kapag sila po ay sumerrender, i-undergo po natin sila ng investigation dito at titignan din po natin ang kanilang criminal liability or criminal extent noong participation nila dito sa kasong ito,” he said.

(When they surrender, they will undergo investigation to determine their criminal liability or the extent of their participation in this case.)

He said two of the 10 persons of interest also underwent welcoming rites with Salilig in Biñan, Laguna on February 19. The three were already members of Tau Gamma Phi but were transferring to the Adamson University chapter.

“Lalakad po ang ating imbestigador para puntahan 'yung ating dalawang biktima na na-initiate din po noong araw na yun (Our investigators will go to the two other victims who underwent initiation rites on the same day as Salilig),” said Jopia.


In a video interview tweeted by Andal, Jopia said the two would be considered suspects if they would not present themselves to authorities to help shed light on the incident.

"Kasi kung hindi sila mag-come out at ifa-file natin sabay-sabay itong kaso, mako-consider sila na suspek na rin," he said.

(If they don't come out and we filed the cases against them, they will be considered suspects.)


Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police vowed to resolve the matter.

“We want to assure yung CHED, pati na rin yung ating mga kababayan at ilang mambabatas na hinihimok ang PNP na tutukan ang kasong ito, asahan ninyo po ang PNP po ay gagawin lahat ng makakaya makakaya within its authority and mandate para resolbahin at tapusin ang kaso na ito,” PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Jean Fajardo said at the public briefing.

(We want to assure the CHED, as well as our compatriots and some legislators, who are urging the PNP to focus on this case, that the PNP will do everything within its authority and mandate to resolve this case.)

The PNP issued the remark after 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.

Neophyte Roi dela Cruz, a complainant and witness who earlier coordinated with the police, also underwent initiation rites on the same day.

After being missing for 10 days, Salilig was found in a shallow grave in Imus, Cavite on Tuesday.

Jopia said the police are now looking for the second vehicle that was used to transport Salilig's body.

Police investigators earlier obtained the first vehicle used to transport the fraternity members involved in the hazing. It was found in the house of the parents of one of the suspects, Aaron Cruz, in Parañaque City. It was tagged as evidence by the police.

According to the police, Salilig sat on the passenger side of the SUV. When the suspects noticed that he was already lifeless, they transferred him to the compartment of the second vehicle.

A suspect gave the location of the paddle that was used on Salilig, which he said was already burned. However, Jopia said the police failed to locate it when they went to the area.

According to Silvio, the father of one of the persons of interest, Aaron Cruz, had said that he would surrender his son to authorities. The father is eyeing for bail after getting arrested for alleged obstruction of justice.  —KBK/RSJ, GMA Integrated News