Senator bats for stronger crackdown on hazing

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian (File photo)

MANILA – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is seeking a stronger crackdown on hazing activities amid the persistence of related incidents and deaths.

Gatchalian made this call following President Duterte’s recent statement 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 senator cited the latest incident of hazing that happened in March which resulted in the death of Grade 12 student Reymarc Rebutazo from Laguna. Gatchalian reiterated his call for the strict enforcement of Republic Act No. 11053, the Anti–Hazing Act of 2018, 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 citizen’s 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.

“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 (Even though we already have a law against hazing, there are still a lot of reports of deaths due to hazing. This is a challenge for the government to implement the law with full power and strength),” Gatchalian said in a statement on Tuesday.

He added that this kind of violence against the youth should not be tolerated and all violators of the law must be punished.

The chairperson 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 PHP3 million shall be imposed upon those who actually planned or participated in hazing that results in death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation. (PR)

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