Senator Bong Go has strongly denounced the reported fraternity-related hazing that led to the death of John Matthew Salilig, a 24-year-old Adamson University student.

“Dapat po ay kapatiran, hindi kamatayan,” stressed Go in an ambush interview after personally aiding residents in Mendez, Cavite.

The legislator expressed his disappointment in the use of physical violence during recruitment, stating that it is not a measure of one’s ability to be a good member of a fraternity or any organization.

“Hindi po nasusukat sa physical violence na ginagamit sa recruitment ang pagiging magaling na future member ng isang fraternity.”

“Hindi po nasusukat sa physical violence na ginagamit sa recruitment ang pagiging magaling na future member ng isang fraternity. Hindi ‘yan sukatan ng leadership kung bubugbugin mo ang katawan ng kasamahan (mo) through hazing,” the lawmaker said.

As a father himself, the senator stressed “Alam n’yo, tayong mga magulang pinapaaral natin ang ating mga anak. Nagsasakripisyo tayo, nagtatrabaho tayo (upang) mapalaki ang ating mga anak, pinapaaral natin para makapagtapos sila ng pag-aaral. Ngunit hindi para saktan at mamatay.” 

He appealed to authorities to investigate the incident and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

“Ang apela ko lang po sa awtoridad, imbestigahan agad at papanagutin ang dapat managot. Hustisya po para sa biktima po ng hazing,” Go urged.

When asked if he believes that the incident should be brought to the Senate for investigation, Go responded that he would be willing to participate if it did. However, he believes that the police should be allowed to complete their investigation first.

“I will participate kung umabot po ito sa isang imbestigasyon.”

“Maaari. Ako, I will participate kung umabot po ito sa isang imbestigasyon… hayaan na muna natin ang kapulisan… mayroon na silang identity ng suspects sa ngayon, hintayin na lang natin ang imbestigasyon (ng pulisya) at mabigyan po ng hustisya ang pamilya, ang pagkamatay ng hazing victim,” Go said.

The decomposing body of Salilig was recently discovered in a vacant lot in Imus, Cavite, strongly suggesting that he was a victim of hazing.

Charges have already been filed by Salilig’s brother, John Michael, and another neophyte who also reportedly suffered hazing against six individuals allegedly involved in the incident.

The suspects are currently in police custody and are set to undergo preliminary investigation, where they will be given the opportunity to present their defense against the accusations.

When asked if he believes that the incident would affect the push for the revival of the Reserved Officer Training Corps, Go clarified that the ROTC is different from fraternities and expressed his support for its revival, saying that it is intended to instill discipline, patriotism, and a love for country in the youth. 

“Iba naman po ang ROTC. Iba naman po ang fraternities. Suportado ko po ang ROTC dahil matuturuan natin ng disiplina ang ating mga kabataan,” he said.

“Makakatulong din ito na mailayo ang mga kabataan sa iligal na droga,” Go added.

However, he emphasized that physical violence of any kind should not be part of the training.

Go suggested that specific provisions should be included in the law to prevent possible hazing incidents. 

“Ngunit dapat walang physical violence or any type of violence. Kung magte-training sila sa ROTC, dapat po walang (violence) na pangyayari,” he stressed.

“Okay naman po na turuan natin ng disiplina. Halimbawa, sa pagte-training, talagang disiplina ang kailangan niyan. To keep us also healthy and fit, ‘yung mga training na gagawin. Ngunit walang sakitan, wala pong pisikal dapat, walang physical violence dahil wala po sa usapan ‘yan,” Go added.

When asked if he believes that amendments should be made to the Anti-Hazing Act, he said that the Senate should review it if necessary to prevent such incidents from occurring again in the future.

“Tingnan nating mabuti. Kami naman po sa Senado, kung kailangang i-review, I will participate po kung kakailanganin para maiwasan at hindi na po maulit dahil parating nauulit eh,” Go said.

He expressed his concern about the repeated incidents of hazing, which continue to result in injuries and loss of lives, and emphasized the importance of protecting the lives and well-being of every Filipino, especially the youth.

“Sa ilang taon na naman po, may nauulit na naman pong nababalitaan na biktima ng hazing. Ang iba, nadadala muna sa hospital, namamatay,” Go said.

“Buhay po ang nakataya dito. Buhay at kalusugan ng ating kapwa. Kaya dapat nga alagaan natin, protektahan natin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino, lalo na ng bawat kabataan,” he ended.



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