Hazing is an initiations a prerequisite for admission into membership in a fraternity or sorority. On the other hand, Republic Act 8049 or Anti-Hazing Law passed in 1995 prohibits physical harm and violence against applicants.
Recently, Horatio Castillo III, a student from University of Santo Tomas died due to traumatic injuries he sustained allegedly at the hands of members of the Aegis Juris fraternity. Castillo’s death has sparked public outrage, where people condemned the tradition of hazing and the culture of impunity.
These violent acts were supposed to be banned by the Anti-Hazing Law, yet many believe that it lacks the power to actually end the long-standing tradition of violence in every fraternities or sororities.
Now, take a look at these facts to know more about the Anti-Hazing Law in the Philippines.
- The death of Ateneo law student in 1991 led to the enactment of Anti-Hazing Law.
In 1991, Leonardo “Lenny” Villa, an Ateneo Law Student died after suffering multiple injuries from hazing rites conducted by the Aquilia Legis fraternity. This led to the enactment of the Anti-Hazing Law in 1995. But Republic Act No. 8049 still does not really prevent hazing from taking place.
- It was enacted under former President Fidel Ramos.
Since it was enacted under former President Fidel Ramos, several neophytes attempting to join fraternities and sororities have gained injuries and died in brutal initiation rites.
- The law mandates that no hazing shall be allowed without prior notice to the school authorities or head of organization.
No hazing or initiation rites shall be allowed without a written- notice addressed to the school authorities or head of organization seven days before the conduct.
- There should be at least two representatives from the school during the initiation.
At least two representatives of the school or organization must also be present during the initiation to ensure that violence will not be employed.
- The organization shall be liable as principals, if the person suffers any physical injury or dies due to the initiation rites.
The law states that “if the person subjected to hazing or other forms of initiation rites suffers any physical injury or dies as a result thereof, the officers and members of the fraternity, sorority or organization who actually participated in the infliction of physical harm shall be liable as principals.”
- Life imprisonment will be imposed on individuals involved.
If initiation results in death, rape, sodomy or mutilation, life imprisonment will be imposed on individuals involved.
- The current Anti-Hazing Law is not effective in preventing fraternities or sororities from hazing.
Since 1995, the deaths due to hazing did not really stop as there at least 15 people who have died, while many have reported sustaining injuries for the initiation.
- Over two decades since its passage, there has only been one conviction for hazing.
In its twenty-two years of existence, there has been only one conviction.
- Many have called for passing entirely another bill called “Servando Act” House Bill 4714.
It was filed in 2014, by Valenzuela Representative Sherwin Gatchalian that seeks to totally ban any form of hazing on applicants of any organization. They will give power to schools to approve or deny applications by organizations to conduct initiation rites. It also increases the penalties imposed.
- The death of Horatio Castillo III is the current hazing case in the Philippines.
Last September 17, 2017, a student from University of Santo Tomas died due to traumatic injuries he got from the hands of Aegis Juries fraternity. It was supposed to be prevented through Anti-Hazing Law, but the law still lacks the needed teeth to end it.
Until the existing Anti-Hazing Law is not yet effective in the country, the physical and mental harm during the initiation rites in every fraternity, sorority, and other organizations will still continue.