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Salilig's pa calls on other persons of interest in alleged hazing to surrender

The father of alleged hazing victim John Matthew Salilig on Saturday called on other persons of interest in the case to surrender to authorities.

"Panawagan lang po na kung puwede sumuko na po tayo. At saka sa mga magulang, tulungan po natin kung wala po tayong kasalanan, tulungan natin na isuko ang ating mga anak sa ating mga awtoridad," John Matthew's father Jigs Salilig said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB.

(I appeal to them to surrender. And to parents, if they are not guilty, please help your children to surrender to authorities.) 

"Sa ngayon ang pagkakaalam ko, nasa pito o walo na ang nasa kamay ng awtoridad. So meron pa po sigurong sampu o sobra sa sampu ang hindi pa lumulutang," he added.

(As far as I know, seven or eight [persons of interest] are in the hands of authorities. So there are maybe 10 or more than 10 who have not surfaced yet.)

One of nine suspects behind the alleged hazing incident surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation on Friday. Suspect John Lester Sus denied he was in hiding and said he was unaware his name was included in the list of suspects being searched for by the police. He immediately sought help from a lawyer after learning about it.

Investigation showed that John Matthew went through the initiation rites of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity chapter on the afternoon of February 19.

The victim reportedly was no longer in good condition in the middle of the rites. They were already on their way back to Manila when the victim died.

Instead of bringing the victim to the hospital, the suspects allegedly decided to bury him in Cavite.

John Matthew's body was found in a shallow grave in Imus on Feb. 28.

He will be buried on Saturday morning, March 4, in Zamboanga City, his father said.

Meanwhile, Jigs thanked authorities for their swift action regarding the case.

"Kami sa part po ng aming pamilya, nagpapasalamat po sa ating mga awtoridad sa mabilis na pagdakip nitong mga suspects natin. Dapat sana kung may mga naiwan pa diyan ay sumuko na sila," he said.

(Our family would like to thank the authorities for swiftly rounding up the suspects. If there are still others, we hope they would surrender.)

Regarding the report that the alleged driver of the grey AUV that carried the body of John Matthew before it was buried was found dead, Jigs said he has no statement.

"Hindi pa ako makagawa ng statement. Nabalitaan lang kami na nagpakamatay," he said, adding that there should be evidence that such was what really happened.

(I could not make a statement yet. We were just informed that he took his life.)

Jigs said the family just wants justice for the death of John Matthew.

"Sa tingin ko naman, ang ating kapulisan eh ginagawa ang lahat ng kanilang makakaya para sa pangmadaliang pagresolba sa kasong ito. 'Yun naman ang hiling namin eh -- hustisya lang po," he said.

(In my opinion, the police are doing all they can to swiftly resolve this case. That is what we want -- justice.)

"Pero gaya ng sinabi ko, kung sino lang po ang talagang responsable, sino 'yung pinakamataas na nandoon during initiation rite ang dapat managot," he added.

(But as I said, only those who are directly responsible, the most senior who was there during the initiation rite should be held responsible.)

Jigs, who was also a member of a fraternity, said he is joining the call to ban fraternities.

"Ako ay sumasang-ayon dito," he said.

(I agree with this.)

"Ito pong nakaraang karanasan ko bilang magulang at ang karanasan ng mga biktima pa noon, mahirap sa akin, ako bilang magulang na naranasan ko ito. So napakasakit po ang pangyayaring ito," Jigs added.

(This experience -- as experienced by other victims -- is difficult for me as a parent. It is very heartbreaking.)

"I hope na ito pong nangyari sa anak namin will be an eye opener sa lahat... Hindi whitewash, natulog ang kaso. Ang panawagan, hopefully ang gobyerno, aksyonan na ang lahat ng kaso ng biktima ng hazing," he added.

(I hope that what happened to our son will be an eye opener to all... The case should not be whitewashed or left to gather dust. We are calling on, hopefully the government will act on all the cases of hazing victims.) —KG, GMA Integrated News