Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday called on Congress to pass a revamped anti-hazing law following a recent incident which sent an 18-year-old student to the hospital for injuries sustained during the initiation rites of a sorority group.
In a statement, Gatchalian said “hazing has absolutely no place in modern society.”
“We must replace the twenty-year old law by passing a new one with more teeth to bring offenders to justice," the neophyte senator said.
Gatchalian authored Senate Bill No. 199 or the Anti-Hazing Act, which seeks to impose stiffer penalties against fraternities, sororities, and other organizations involved in hazing.
Gatchalian said the recent incident was especially troubling because the victim was allegedly forced to undergo hazing against her will.
“Violent youth who subject their fellow students to such debased treatment must be punished to the full extent of the law, and the law should provide for absolutely zero tolerance for hazing in any school, community, or organization,” the senator said.
Under Gatchalian’s proposal, a penalty of reclusion temporal and a fine of one P1 million will be imposed upon the practicing officers and members of the fraternity, sorority, organization, business or corporation involved in the hazing.
Members of the organization who were intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs when they participated in the hazing will be penalized with reclusion perpetua and a fine of P2 million.
A penalty of reclusion perpetua and fine of P3 million shall be imposed upon those who actually participated in the hazing, death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation results.
The school who will approve an organization’s application for initiation which held initiation shall be penalized with P1 million.
Under the proposed law, only initiation rites which do not inflict direct or indirect physical or psychological harm to recruits will be allowed.
The hazing incident involving a student of the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) happened on January 7 at an abandoned house in Las Piñas.
“Pinaddle na siya ng pinaddle kaya yung kanyang hita talagang black and blue talaga. Tapos yung likod niya pinaso ng kandila. Tapos yung palo sa kanya ng sinturon mahigit singkuwenta,” said Charisma Alilio, mother of "Anna," the victim said.
The incident is already being investigated by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG). — Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/RSJ, GMA News