March 3, 2023
MANILA – The Biñan Police on Thursday filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) a case for violations of the Anti-Hazing Law against six members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity tagged in the death of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig.
Biñan City Police Chief Virgilio Jopia said the complainants in the case are the victim’s brother and a hazing survivor.
Named in the complaint are the following: Earl Anthony Romero, Tung Cheng Teng, Sandro Victorino, Michael Lambert Ritalde, Jerome Balot and Mark Pedrosa.
Initially, the six were supposed to undergo an inquest proceeding, a summary procedure to determine whether an individual arrested without a warrant will be released on account of a dismissal of charges, released for further preliminary investigation proceedings, or charged in court.
But all six respondents signed a waiver of detention and asked for a preliminary investigation. Because of signing the waiver, Biñan City Police Chief Virgilio Jopia said they will remain under police custody.
The DOJ has set a preliminary investigation on March 10, where the six are required to submit their counter-affidavit.
Laguna Police Director Col. Randy Glenn Silvio said during the inquest proceeding, some of the six suspects are emotional.
“Kanina, nakita natin na may mga umiiyak during the inquest kaya makikita mo yung pagsisisi nila [During the inquest, some of the suspects were crying. You can clearly see that they are remorseful about their actions],” Silvio told reporters.
Of the six, he said one was the first to surface before the Manila Police and identified the participants in the initiation rites while another one showed the authorities where the body was dumped.
Aside from the six, both Silvio and Jopia confirmed that they still have 10 more persons of interest and investigation will continue.
Obstruction of Justice
The father of the owner of the vehicle used to transport Salilig’s body no longer opted for a preliminary investigation.
“He wants the prosecutor to already resolve the case–whether to file it in court or not,” Silvio said adding that family wants to hasten the proceeding, in case there is a need to post bail due to health concerns.
He added that the father also wanted to be released from detention to attend to his son’s case.
“He said he also wants to surrender his son to authorities,” Silvio said.
He was slapped with a case for obstruction of justice after his family refused to turnover the vehicle for investigation.