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Zubiri seeks Senate probe into Atio Castillo hazing case

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri has filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the death of suspected hazing victim Horacio "Atio" Castillo III.

Zubiri, who attended the first night of Castillo's wake in Santuario De San Antonio in Makati, said Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon are expected to lead the investigation.

Lacson is the chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs while Gordon is the chairman the Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

"We filed the resolution already to investigate. Iimbestigahan namin to. Senator Gordon and Senator Ping Lacson will be heading the investigation. We will get to the bottom of this," Zubiri said.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian earlier called on the Senate to deliberate on the bill strengthening the Anti-Hazing Law following the death of a freshman law student of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) due to injuries from the initiation rites conducted by a fraternity group.

"The Anti-Hazing Law must be overhauled to eliminate loop holes and ensure that all persons responsible for these cruel and senseless hazing deaths will be held accountable to the full extent of the law. It's time for the Senate to take up this proposed legislation," Gatchalian said in a statement.

Zubiri was classmates with the victim's father, Horacio Castillo Jr. at the Colegio San Agustin. The victim's sister, Nicole, is part of Zubiri's staff.

The senator said that the Anti-Hazing Law is flawed because it merely regulatesdthe act of hazing instead of prohibiting it.

He vowed to focus on amending the law in such a way that all kinds of hazing will be prohibited.

"Kailangan talaga maamend na ang batas, para sa prohibition hindi regulation," Zubiri said.

"Yung titolo lang ng batas eh, it is legally flawed. The title of the orignal law of anti-hazing is the regulation of hazing. It's not the prohibition. Now we are focused on amending the law to prohibit all forms of hazing. Whether it's physical, mental," he added.

Zubiri called on his fellow senators and colleagues at the House of Representatives to pass the amendments of the Anti-Hazing Law. He said that that Castillo's death must be the last and that it should not be in vain.

"I appeal to all my colleagues at the House of Representatives and the Senate, let us pass the amendments of the Anti-Hazing Law so that we put closure to all these deaths and make no other child from our families suffer the same fate," Zubiri said.

"We should make this the last death, and we should not let his death go in vain," he added. —NB, GMA News