Revisit anti-hazing law, ban fraternities into hazing rites

Revisit anti-hazing law, ban fraternities into hazing rites

March 7, 2023 @ 12:31 AM 3 weeks ago

ENRAGED by the recent hazing incidents that resulted in the untimely deaths of two university students, Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta gave a hint on lawmakers to revisit the anti-hazing law and ban fraternities found involved in violent initiation rites.

Informed that the members of the Tau Gamma Phi said to be behind the death of Adamson University chemical engineering student John Matthew Salilig, 24, wanted to ask PAO’s help to defend them in court, she had flatly rejected them.

Acosta said the government must put an end to fraternities that have been found practicing deadly welcoming rites for their new members.

Aside from Salilig, University of Cebu marine engineering student Ronnel Baguio, 20, also died last December 19, 2022 allegedly after a violent initiation rites conducted by the same fraternity.

She said lawmakers should revisit the anti-hazing law, in reference to Republic Act 11053 as there could be provisions that were already obsolete and must be amended.

“Those fraternities or similar organizations that have a history of deadly practice of initiation rites must be abolished, their registration before the Securities and Exchange Commission must be automatically terminated.”

“Let’s put a stop to these monsters in the fraternities,” she added.

The top PAO official said she’s still not against the formation of any organization “but it must be friendly and that promotes brotherhood not murder.”

PAO-Forensics Division chief Dr. Erwin Erfe echoed her call while saying that there’s a problem in the implementation of the anti-hazing law.

“There were cases in the past that both the prosecutors and judges were relying on the Revised Penal Code that somehow reduced the offense of accused in hazing instead of applying the rules under the anti-hazing law, so the result, they’re either placed under probation or jailed but in reduced prison terms,” said Erfe, also a lawyer.

Acosta reiterated that they couldn’t assist the suspects due to the conflict of interest.

“It’s basic. We render assistance to those who were first to come to us to ask for help and the families of the victims from the two hazing incidents were the first to approach us to help them.”

“They engaged in violent hazing so they better look for private lawyers to defend them in court,” she added.