February 25, 2024

DOJ indicts 7 frat men in Salilig’s hazing death

By Justine Rich Talusan

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted the seven officers and members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity over the alleged hazing death of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig. 

The seven are Earl Anthony Osita Romero alias “Slaughter,” Tung Cheng Benitez Teng Jr. alias “Nike,” Jerome Ochoco Balot alias “Allie,” Sandro Dasalla Victorino alias “Loki,” Michael Lambert Alcazar Ricalde alias “Alcazar,” Mark Muñoz Pedrosa alias “Macoy,” and Daniel Delos Reyes Perry alias “Sting.”

The DOJ panel of prosecutors found probable cause to indict the seven frat men for violation of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018.

The respondents also face a physical injury case due to injuries sustained by another neophyte, Roi Osmond Dela Cruz.

Based on a resolution dated March 13, 2023, all of the respondents planned and participated in hazing the recruits by way of paddling.

“Based on the evidence presented during the inquest proceedings, the panel gathered that the above-named respondents, together with other individuals who remain at large, recruited John Matthew Salilig, Roi Osmond Dela Cruz and two others to join the Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity- Adamson University Chapter,” the DOJ said.

The respondents and other members of the Tau Gamma Phi-Adamson Chapter subjected the recruits, including Salilig, to an initiation and welcoming rites on February 18, 2023, at Binan City, Laguna, as a requirement for admission into their fraternity. 

The said rites, however, led to the death of Salilig and injuries to Dela Cruz.

According to the DOJ, they will file two separate criminal informations for violation of Section 14(a) and 14(b)(1), respectively, of Republic Act 8049  as amended by Republic Act 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 before the Regional Trial Court of Biñan City in Laguna.

Salilig was reported missing on February 18, and his family and friends turned to social media to raise awareness about his disappearance. 

He was last seen riding a bus in Manila.

A witness said Salilig was present during a welcoming ceremony for Tau Gamma Phi fraternity in Biñan City, where he was allegedly hit with a wooden paddle at least 70 times.

 Salilig’s body was found in a shallow grave in Imus, Cavite.  Based on an autopsy, he suffered severe blunt force trauma to his lower extremities, evidence that he had undergone hazing.