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Senate hearing on John Matthew Salilig's death (March 20, 2023)

Physician with ties to frat member accused of not giving medical aid to Salilig

by Carl Santos

A physician who is said to be a cousin of a Tau Gamma Phi fraternity member allegedly refused to give medical aid to John Matthew Salilig following the initiation rites, a Senate inquiry into the Adamson University student’s death has found.

At the hearing called by the Senate justice committee on Monday, March 20, Senator Francis Tolentino said Ralph Benjamin Tan alias Scottie stated in his affidavit that the physician had refused to aid Salilig despite the injuries sustained by the chemical engineering student.

The physician was allegedly at the venue to fetch his cousin, a fraternity member identified as alias Lee.

“Tinanong ni Ralph Benjamin Tan si Lee kung puwede tumulong yung kanyang pinsan na doktor para asistihan si Matthew. Ang sabi po ng doktor, ‘hindi puwede,'” Tolentino, the panel’s chairperson, said. 

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Tolentino said the doctor must be held accountable for not performing his duty under the Hippocratic Oath.

“Ano ginagawa niya doon? Siguro inimbita siya para tumulong, nakita niya ‘yung kondisyon ng bata, umayaw siya. That’s a violation of his oath as a medical practitioner at puwede siya kasuhan,” he said. 

He also urged the authorities to identify the physician. 

“Apparently, si Ralph Benjamin Tan he cannot identify kung sino talaga yung doktor. So we are trying to pursue other information kung saan po namin ma-identify yung doktor,” NBI agent Joseph Martinez said, adding Lee is not under their custody.

Salilig’s remains were found in a shallow grave in Imus, Cavite on February 28 days after he was reported missing. 

At least seven members of the fraternity have already been indicted by the Department of Justice for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law over Salilig’s death. 

Salilig was laid to rest in his hometown Zamboanga City on March 4.

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