Senator Bong Go has voiced his support for the efforts to amend and strengthen the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018.
This, following the reported fraternity-related hazing that led to the death of John Matthew Salilig, a 24-year-old Adamson University student. His decomposing body was discovered in a vacant lot in Imus, Cavite on February 28.
In an ambush interview after aiding struggling residents in Sta. Maria, Bulacan, Go said that he has no objections to the proposal strengthening the requirement for fraternities to be registered as accredited school-based organizations.
The legislator explained that by accrediting these organizations and registering them under their respective schools or communities, proper authorities can effectively monitor and regulate their activities. However, the lawmaker emphasized that such policies must also not violate the right of students to organize.
“In principle po, wala naman po akong objection sa proposal na ‘yan… pwede nating pag-aralang mabuti,” the senator said.
“Sa ngayon po, mayroon naman tayong Anti-Hazing Law. Para sa akin, ang proposal na ‘yan, for as long as hindi natin naba-violate ang right to organize ng mga estudyante, initially okay naman po para mas ma-monitor natin ang mga activities ng fraternities and other organizations,” he added.
Go pointed out that many of these fraternities are not registered as accredited school-based organizations which results to them operating underground, making it difficult to monitor their activities.
“Underground ang ginagawa nila sa kanilang activities, including recruitment process. Tapos kung mayro’ng involved na namamatay sa hazing, nabibigla na lang tayo.”
“Ang nangyayari po, underground ang ginagawa nila sa kanilang activities, including recruitment process. Tapos kung mayro’ng involved na namamatay sa hazing, nabibigla na lang tayo – minsan ang mga school authorities – na mayroon palang estudyante na involved sa fraternities that conducted hazing,” he added.
The Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 prohibits hazing and imposes penalties on individuals and organizations that engage in it. However, despite the law’s existence, hazing incidents continue to occur, with some organizations going as far as to circumvent the law by conducting their activities in secret.
To address this, Senate President Migz Zubiri, in a Senate committee hearing, suggested amending the law to mandate students to indicate their fraternity and sorority memberships in their college applications.
Meanwhile, Go emphasized the importance of addressing hazing and physical violence in fraternities and sororities, condemning incidents that result in the death of students.
“Kinokondena ko po talaga ‘yung mga hazing incident na nagreresulta po ng pagkamatay ng isang estudyante,” he said.
“Dapat po ay matigil po itong karahasang ito.”
“Alam n’yo, tayong mga magulang, pinapag-aral natin ang ating mga anak. Nagpapakamatay tayong magtrabaho, nagpapakamatay po tayo para may maitustos po sa pag-aaral nila, tapos mamamatay lang po sila sa hazing. Naiintindihan ko po, napakasakit po ‘yan. Dapat po ay matigil po itong karahasang ito,” Go concluded.