Senator Bato Dela Rosa wants to give more teeth to the law against hazing by making schools accountable and penalizing them if found negligent in implementing the law, which can cause serious injuries and even death of students due to hazing.
This developed during the hearing on Tuesday conducted by the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights led by Senator Francis Tolentino joint with the Public Order and Dangerous Drugs panel headed by Dela Rosa on the death due to hazing of John Matthew Salilig, a 24-year-old chemical engineering student from Adamson University (AdU).
“I agree with Senator Tulfo na ‘yung amendment niya na gagawing mas mabigat na penalty, dapat ipapataw sa eskwelahan dahil hindi nila ginagawa ‘yung kanilang loco parentis doon sa estudyante.”
Dela Rosa joined Senator Raffy Tulfo in proposing to amend the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 to penalize negligent school administrators after it was learned during the hearing that no orientation was given by the Adamson University to its now detained Tau Gamma Phi members involved in Salilig’s initiation rites last month.
Additionally, no permit was secured from AdU by the Tau Gamma Phi for their initiation rites. The fraternity claimed that they did not know it was a requirement of the Anti-Hazing Law. Tau Gamma Phi is considered ‘outlawed’ by the university for failing to register and non-adherence to the no-contact policy for these organizations.
“I agree with Senator Tulfo na ‘yung amendment niya na gagawing mas mabigat na penalty, dapat ipapataw sa eskwelahan dahil hindi nila ginagawa ‘yung kanilang loco parentis doon sa estudyante,” he said.
The ‘loco parentis doctrine’ means the responsibility of a parent to a child is the same responsibility of the school to its students.
“Kung ayaw ng parents na mamatay ‘yung bata na anak niya, or ayaw niyang maging miyembro ng CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army) ‘yung anak niya, ‘yun din, responsable rin ang school do’n na hindi dapat mapunta sa CPP-NPA ‘yung anak [estudyante] niya. Parang gano’n,” he said.
Dela Rosa said amending the Anti-Hazing Law is the proper procedure since while it is provided in the law that “schools should conduct orientation briefing on membership in a fraternity or sorority every opening of the semester or trimester to all the students,” there was no liability provided for failure to conduct an orientation.
The former top cop also said the AdU is playing “Pontius Pilate” by saying that the Tau Gamma Phi is not recognized by the school.
“It’s tantamount to saying that wala kaming pakialam sa inyo, mga fraternity. But you know of the existence of these fraternities in the school. You are the director of Student Affairs,” he told AdU’s Atty. Jan Nelin Navallasca,
Dela Rosa said amending the Anti-Hazing Law is the proper procedure since while it is provided in the law that schools should conduct orientation briefing on membership in a fraternity or sorority every opening of the semester or trimester to all the students, there was no liability provided for failure to conduct an orientation.
“There is alleged presence (of fraternities). So, alam pala ninyo na meron niyan, bakit hindi ninyo ni-regulate? Andiyan pala ‘yan eh. So, ibig sabihin ‘naghugas kamay’ na lang kayo porke alam niyo nandiyan, alam ninyo, sa batas sinasabi, kailangang irehistro sa school administration itong mga fraternity nila… So, gano’n na lang pala?” Dela Rosa continued.
Navallasca said that based on the record, they have been conducting orientation since 2018 for first-year and second-year students from the NSTP (National Service Training Program) classes.
Dela Rosa suggested to AdU to penalize students who will not follow the rules on Anti-Hazing by kicking them out of the university. Under the law, school officials have the authority to impose disciplinary penalties to the head and other officers of the fraternity, sorority, or organization who fail to register or update their roster of members.
“I suggest, kung outlawed ninyo sa school ‘yung mga fraternity…may naobserbahan kayo na gumagawa ng fraternity sa school, then i-kickout ninyo. I-expel ninyo from school, that’s the best thing,” Dela Rosa said.