TIMELINE: Alleged hazing death of Adamson student John Matthew Salilig

Jeff Caparas, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2023 09:41 PM | Updated as of Mar 09 2023 03:42 PM

MANILA — From a frantic search to the discovery of his body, here's a timeline of the alleged hazing death of Adamson student John Matthew Salilig.

February 17, Friday

Salilig, a chemical engineering student at Adamson University, with his older brother John Michael picked up their father, Joeffrey, at the airport around 4 p.m. They had a meal together before going to Cavite to bring Joeffrey to a convention in Dasmariñas.

This was the last time Joeffrey saw his younger son. 

After dropping off their father, the brothers went back to Manila. John Michael dropped off John Matthew at his apartment at around 11 p.m. 

That day, Salilig told his kuya that he would attend the "welcoming rites" of Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity-Adamson Chapter the next day. 

John Michael, also a member of that fraternity, gave his approval to the 24-year-old Salilig. 

February 18, Saturday 

Salilig boarded a bus in Buendia around 10:30 a.m., CCTV footage showed.

The third-year college student was with six members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity Adamson Chapter, identified by the police as “Thugs”, “Christian”, “Scottie”, “Tyler”, “Slaughter”, and “Sting.” 

At 11:42 a.m., they arrived in Biñan, Laguna for the supposed welcoming rites. 

According to the statement of “Slaughter,” they ate at a nearby eatery and later walked near a university. After a few minutes, they rode a blue Ford Everest believed to be driven and owned by an alias Bones. They proceeded to the venue of the initiation rites in Barangay Casile. 

“Slaughter” added that the initiation rites started with a blow of paddles at around 1:30 p.m. Salilig was first to be hit followed by two others, identified only as alias Lee and Bin Laden, as well as a neophyte, alias Diesel.

In the middle of the initiation rites, "Slaughter" said they had to pause because Salilig defecated and later threw up. 

"Tinanong siya, 'May sakit ka ba?' 'Nagtatae ako, diarrhea.' 'Kaya mo ba?', sabi po. Tinuloy ni Sting," Slaughter said. 
 
(He was asked, 'Are you sick?'' He said he had diarrhea. 'Can you go on?' He said, yes. Sting resumed it.)

The rites lasted until 3:30 p.m. and the group left Biñan at about 7 p.m. Salilig threw up again before getting into the Blue Ford Everest, “Slaughter” said. 

“Slaughter” rode a motorcycle and went to an event, while Salilig was brought to alias Scottie’s home in Parañaque where he allegedly suffered a seizure inside the vehicle. This was around 9 p.m. 

The group tried but failed to revive Salilig. 

“Slaughter” said there were discussions among the group whether or not they should bring Salilig the hospital or dispose of his body. The group chose the second option. 

According to reports, Salilig's body was later transferred to a Hyundai Tucson allegedly driven by the Grand Triskelion identified as “Nike.”

February 19, Sunday 

Alias Bones returned his blue Ford Everest to his home in Parañaque and rode a Mitsubishi Adventure to Cavite to “dispose” of Salilig’s body. 

According to alias Bin Laden’s statement, he was with “Bones” in the Mitsubishi Adventure driven by “Sakmal.” Alias “Vash,” “Snoop,” “Ji,” and “McGregor” were also with them.

Bin Laden said they picked up three shovels from alias Nike’s house to dig Salilig's grave.

Alias Nike drove the Hyundai Tucson. He was with “Sting,” “Void,” “Thugs” and Salilig's corpse, he added. 

February 20, Monday

John Michael began to worry about his brother. They were supposed to go to the airport to send their father home to Zamboanga, but Salilig failed to show up. 

At around 9 p.m., John Michael went to his brother’s apartment in Manila but failed to find him there, although his personal belongings were intact.

John Michael reported to the Manila Police District that his brother was missing.

The Adamson Chronicle Facebook page also posted that their “Klasmeyt” was missing. 

February 21, Tuesday 

The search for Salilig began.

Around 3 p.m., John Michael went to a bus terminal in Buendia, where his brother's shared locator ended. 

John Michael requested a copy of the CCTV footage at the station and nearby barangay hall. 

February 22, Wednesday 

John Michael went to the Pasay police with his brother's best friend to report what happened. 

With investigators, they followed up on their request for the CCTV footage. 

They later went to Adamson University. 

February 23, Thursday 

Salilig's other brother John Martin, arrived in Manila from Zamboanga to help in the search. 

Through a family friend, they went to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame.

They went again to the bus station for a follow-up and obtained a copy of the CCTV footage. 

They confirmed that Salilig went to Biñan. They later went there and talked to a person who gave them information about the missing student. 

February 24, Friday 

The brothers went back to the bus terminal and also gave a copy of the CCTV footage to the Biñan City police. 

February 25, Saturday

The brothers continued their search and asked for CCTV footage from establishments. 

John Martin received an anonymous text. 

"Sinabi nga na si Matt Matt nga eh, message nagkaroon nga ng initiation Feb. 19, tumirik, di na humihinga," he said.

"Binaon na lang daw nila, 'yung ang sabi sa chat. But hindi ko pa agad na ano sa family ko kasi, sabi ko, baka may nanti-trip lang or what."

(The message said Matt Matt underwent an initiation on Feb. 19 and had a seizure and stopped breathing. They just buried him, the person told me, but I didn't immediately tell my family because I thought it was just a prank.) 

February 26, Sunday 

According to John Michael, they filed a complaint against Adamson University.

The Manila police also identified the persons allegedly involved in the hazing.

Earl Anthony Romero, alias "Slaughter", voluntarily appeared at the Manila Police District. 

He was followed by Tung Cheng Teng, aka "Nike", and Jerome Balot, aka "Allie". 

The Manila and Biñan City police's coordination led to the voluntary appearance of Sandro Victorino, aka "Loki," Micahel Lambert Ritalde, and Mark Pedrosa, aka "Macoy." The three are Biñan Chapter members of Tau Gamma Phi. 

Mark Pedrosa was said to be the owner of the apartment where the welcoming and initiation rites were held. 

“Nag-conduct tayo ng backtracking and forward tracking ng mga CCTV footage that led to the identities of the vehicles of the suspect,“ said Biñan police chief Lt. Col. Virgilio Jopia. 

(We conducted a backtracking and forward tracking of the CCTV footage.)

February 27, Monday

The persons of interest in the case revealed they buried Salilig's remains in Cavite. 

The Laguna police also located the blue Ford Everest allegedly connected to the crime. 

Police tried to convince the parents of alias Bones to turn over the vehicle as evidence but they refused, citing the need for a search warrant. 

“Nakiusap tayo sa parents last February 27, nung Monday, hanggang madaling-araw ng 28 kung puwede isuko. Sana, turn over properly in good faith para po ma-SOCO sana. Itong na ito nakapangalan sa ating person of interest natin na isang miyembro ng Tau Gamma,” Laguna police director Col. Randy Glenn Silvio said. 

(We asked the parents last February 27, Monday, until early February 28 to surrender the vehicle and turn it over in good faith to the SOCO.)

John Martin Salilig, brother of John Matthew Salilig turns emotional after identifying his body pulled from a shallow grave by the Public Information Unit of Cavite Police Provincial Office (PIU Cavite PPO) and Imus City Police Station (Imus CPS) inside the Jade Residences Subdivision in Barangay Malagasang, Imus City on February 28, 2023. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
John Martin Salilig, brother of John Matthew Salilig turns emotional after identifying his body pulled from a shallow grave by the Public Information Unit of Cavite Police Provincial Office (PIU Cavite PPO) and Imus City Police Station (Imus CPS) inside the Jade Residences Subdivision in Barangay Malagasang, Imus City on February 28, 2023. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

February 28, Tuesday 

After days of searching, Salilig's body was finally found in an abandoned lot in Barangay Malagasang in Imus, Cavite before noon. 

Tung Cheng Teng (aka "Nike") had disclosed where they buried Salilig. 

Before the body was found, John Martin had said, “I’m still hoping for miracle, na sana hindi nga totoo. Sana, nung iniwan nila si Matt doon, sana may magandang loob na nakakuha sa kanya, inalagaan, pinapa-recover ngayon kaya lang di pa mailabas. I still have that small hope kasi since di ko pa siya nakikita.” 

(I'm still hoping for a miracle, and that Matt was just abandoned and someone found him, took care of him, and was letting him recover. I still have that small hope since I have yet to see him.)

But John Martin eventually identified the decomposing remains of his brother. 

The corpse was subjected to autopsy and forensic examination. 

According to the medico-legal report, Salilig died due to severe blunt force trauma to his lower extremities. 

March 1, Wednesday 

Armed with a search warrant, the police confiscated the blue Ford Everest in Parañaque. 

Witnesses said Salilig died inside the SUV. 

Alias Bones' father was apprehended for obstruction of justice. 

The vehicle was brought to the Biñan City police's headquarters and underwent forensic examination. 

March 2, Thursday 

Neophyte Roi Dela Cruz went to the Biñan Police and positively identified the six persons of interest.

They were apprehended and later tagged as suspects. 

The Biñan police filed charges of violation of the anti-hazing law before the Department of Justice against the suspects. 

The initiation rites venue in Barangay Casile underwent forensic examination. 

Later that day, the alleged master initiator, Daniel Perry, aka "Sting", surrendered to Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla. 

“Humihingi po ako ng malaking sorry, at alam ko sobrang laking pagkakamali po nito. Humingi po ako ng pasensya, di po inaasahan na ganun ang pangyayari. Sorry po talaga, sorry po," Perry told ABS CBN News. 

(I apologize and I know this was a very big mistake. I apologize, I did not expect this would happen. I am really sorry.)

March 3, Friday

The driver of the Mitsubishi Adventure, who was considered a person of interest in the case, has died, according to Jopia, the chief of the Binan City police.

The SUV was turned over by his family through their lawyer. 

Later that day, the Hyundai Tucson was also turned over to authorities.

Meanwhile, the DOJ junked the obstruction of justice complaint against the father of the person of interest who owns the blue SUV in Parañaque. 

March 4, Saturday 

Perry was brought to DOJ for inquest proceedings. 

The two SUVs underwent forensic examination. 

Salilig was laid to rest in Zamboanga. 

March 5, Sunday

Two members of the Tau Gamma Phi, who went through welcoming rites with Salilig, appeared before the Biñan police to file complaints. 

They were identified as “Lee” and “Bin Laden.”

According to the two witnesses, Salilig was singled out in the initiation. 

“According dun sa statement ng mga dumating na witness dito, kaya nakatamo ng maraming palo itong ating biktima dahil maarte daw sabi nung mga nag-i-initiate. Sabi kasi noong sinabi sa kanila habang nagpapaluan doon na, 'Huwag niyo gagayahin ito ha si Matt dahil nga maarte'. Kaya napadami nang napadami yung palo,” said Jopia. 

(The witnesses said the victim was hit many times because the initiator found him fussy. They were told not be like Matt.) 

March 6, Monday 

The Biñan police continued to search for 10 persons of interest. 

March 7, Tuesday 

The Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee launched an investigation into Salilig’s death. 

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