Senator Win Gatchalian wants the country to have stronger measures against hazing amid the persistence of hazing-related incidents and deaths.
Gatchalian made this call following President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent criticism that the violence inflicted by fraternity members on those who want to join their group is not a manly thing to do and that members should exercise moderation in their initiation rites.
The veteran legislator cited the latest incident of hazing that happened in March which resulted in the death of Grade 12 student Reymarc Rebutazo from Laguna.
The seasoned lawmaker reiterated his call for the strict enforcement of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 (Republic Act No. 11053), a law that he co-authored and co-sponsored.
The law prohibits all forms of hazing in fraternities, sororities, and organizations in schools, including citizens’ military training and citizens’ army training.
This prohibition also applies to all other fraternities, sororities, and organizations that are not school-based, such as community-based and other similar organizations.
“Isang hamon ito sa ating pamahalaan na ipatupad ang batas nang may buong pwersa at lakas.”
“Bagama’t meron na tayong batas laban sa hazing, marami pa rin tayong nababalitaang mga namamatay dahil sa hazing. Isang hamon ito sa ating pamahalaan na ipatupad ang batas nang may buong pwersa at lakas,” the senator said.
“Hindi na natin dapat pinahihintulutan ang ganitong uri ng karahasan laban sa ating mga kabataan.”
“Hindi na natin dapat pinahihintulutan ang ganitong uri ng karahasan laban sa ating mga kabataan at dapat nating tiyaking lahat ng mga sangkot ay mananagot sa batas,” he added.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture also emphasized that under the law, it is the role of schools to take more proactive steps to protect students from the dangers of participating in hazing activities.
The law provides that the penalty of reclusion perpetua and a fine of P3 million shall be imposed upon those who actually planned or participated in hazing that results to death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation.