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PNP: Student found in Imus grave bore signs of hazing; 15 persons of interest being probed

The chemical engineering student's body found in a shallow grave in Imus, Cavite on Tuesday showed signs of hazing, police said Wednesday, adding that 15 persons of interest are being investigated.

"Maliban sa statement ng ating mga witness, nakitaan natin ng mga pasa ang biktima sa kanyang binti," Police Lieutenant Colonel Virgilio Jopia, acting chief of police of Philippine National Police-Biñan, Laguna, said in an interview on Unang Balita.

(Aside from the statements of our witnesses, we saw that the victim had bruises on his legs.)

Police however are still awaiting the result of the autopsy examination.

"'Yung ating biktima, sumailalim na sa autopsy examination at 'yon ang hinihintay natin, ang official report," Jopia said.

(The victim's body was subjected to autopsy examination and we are awaiting the official report.)

On Tuesday, the body of John Matthew Salilig, a student at Adamson University in Manila, was found more than a week after he was last seen alive.

Biñan police said suspects whom they invited for investigation pointed to where Salilig had been buried.

"'Yung labi ng ating biktima ay natunton sa pamamagitan din ng pagtuturo din ng kanyang mga kasama du'n sa ginawa nilang initiation rites dito sa bayan ng Biñan," Jopia said.

(The remains of the victim were found after the burial place was revealed by those who were with him during the initiation rites held in Biñan.)

Fifteen persons of interest are being investigated, seven of whom took part in the Tau Gamma Phi initiation rites for Salilig, he added. 

"'Yung aming assessment, out of fear ito, nu'ng mga bata," he said when asked why Salilig was buried and not brought to the hospital.

(In our assessment, the young men did so out of fear.)

"Dahil sa ginawa nating masusing investigation doon sa lahat ng personalities involved, isa-isa silang nagpunta sa ating police station," Jopia added.

(Because of our thorough investigation into the personalities involved, one by one they went to the police station.)

The suspects were able to give a detailed account of the incident that occurred last February 18, he said, including the travel to and from the City of Biñan, the initiation rite itself, and the circumstances when the victim passed away.

"Habang nagaganap ang initiation rites, nagkaroon na ng senyales ng paghihirap ang biktima dahil bandang alas-tres ng hapon ay according to the witness sumuka 'yung ating biktima," Jopia said.

(While the initiation rites was ongoing, the victim already showed signs of not feeling well. At around 3 p.m., he vomited, according to the witness.)

"Along the way pabalik ng Maynila, ito ay binawian na ng buhay," he added.

(On the way back to Manila, he passed away.)

Jopia said it was the Manila Police District (MPD) which referred the case to them. The MPD and Biñan City Police then coordinated to conduct the investigation.

During the probe, police were able to get the names of the persons of interest. 

"Mayroon tayong nasampahan na kaso ng una, 'yung obstruction of justice. Kasama din po ito doon sa ginawang initiation rites. Tapos nandito sa ating himpilan yung pito na sumasailalim sa investigation," Jopia said.

(We already filed a complaint for obstruction of justice against one of those who took part in the initiation rites. Seven [of the persons of interest] are here at our station undergoing investigation.) —KG, GMA Integrated News