MANILA — The father of Adamson University student John Matthew Salilig supports move to impose stiffer penalties for those involved in hazing activities.
In an ANC interview Thursday, Joeffrey Salilig said capital punishment should be introduced to those found guilty of hazing.
"Kung magkakaroon lang sana tayo ng death penalty with regards to this hazing, then maybe puwede na siguro isa sa mga puwedeng ma-amendahan diyan sa anti-hazing law," he told "Headstart".
"I am now in favor of this so that itong mga fraternities involved sa ganitong initiation rites will really observe [the law]. Hindi na nila gagawin ‘yan 'pag alam nila ganito na ‘yung stiffer penalty that will be given if gumawa sila nitong hazing," he added.
(If we could only have death penalty with regards to this hazing, then maybe that could be one of the amendments to the anti-hazing law. I am now in favor of this so that fraternities involved in these initiation rites will really observe the law. They will no longer do that if they are aware of the stiffer penalty that will be given if they perpetrate hazing.)
Death penalty was allowed in the Philippines through Republic Act 7659 signed in 1993 by then-President Fidel Ramos.
His successor, former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, signed Republic Act 8177, specifically designating lethal injection as the mode of carrying out capital punishment.
The imposition of the death penalty was abolished by a law in 2006 under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The elder Saliliig also wants schools to be held liable if they knew that a fraternity employs violence in its initiation rites and failed to prevent it from happening.
The anti-hazing law was amended by Republic Act 11053, now known as the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018. The law increased the penalties for hazing, which include reclusion perpetua and a fine of P3 million.
The Salilig patriarch's remarks came after the Department of Justice indicted 7 Tau Gamma Phi fraternity members for the hazing death of his son and the injury of another recruit.
Based on the findings of the prosecutors, all 7 frat members were present during the initiation rites on February 18 in Biñan, Laguna.
The younger Salilig was reported missing by his brother on February 20. His body was found buried in a vacant lot in Imus, Cavite on February 28.
A witness told authorities that the 24-year-old victim was beaten at least 70 times.
A medico-legal examination revealed Salilig died due to severe blunt force trauma to the lower extremities.
— With a report from Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News