PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed the amended anti-hazing law that imposes stricter penalties on offenders.
Duterte signed Republic Act 11053, or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, on June 29, 2018 although the copy of the law was sent to the media only on Wednesday.
The law amends the 22-year-old Republic Act 8049.
The amended version of the law bans all kinds of hazing in all fraternities, sororities and other organizations and regulates other initiation rites.
Lifetime imprisonment and a fine of P3 million will be meted out to those who would participate in hazing rites that would result in the death, rape, sodomy or mutilation of the victim.
The need to amend the law gained traction in 2017 after the fatal hazing of Horacio Castillo, 3rd, a law freshman at the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
Castillo was found dead in a morgue by his family on September 17, 2017 after undergoing initiation by the Aegis Juris fraternity.
An autopsy showed that Castillo’s death was caused by cardiac arrest, which was triggered by traumatic injuries he sustained during the initiation.
The Senate committee on public order then pushed for the disbarment and resignation of UST College of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, who is also a member of the said fraternity.
Arvin Balag, Ralph Trangia, Oliver John Audrey Onofre, Mhin Wei Chan, Hans Matthew Rodrigo, Joshua Joriel Macabali, Axel Munro Hipe, Marcelino Bagtang, Jose Miguel Salamat and Robin Ramos, members of the fraternity, surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on March 23 after the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) ordered their arrest.
They are detained currently at the Manila City Jail. RALPH VILLANUEVA
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