Senators condemn frat violence after CSB student's death
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - June 30, 2014 - 6:37pm

MANILA, Philippines - Senators Juan Edgardo Angara and Bam Aquino on Monday called for the need to stop the culture of violence in fraternity groups after a student from De La Salle University- College of St. Benilde was added to the list of frat-related deaths.

Angara emphasized the need to make the fraternity officers to be accountable for their actions.

Angara, who belongs to Sigma Rho Fraternity, said the anti-hazing law has not been implemented to its fullest.

"First, we have the law in place, the anti-hazing law is very strong. I guess it's a question of exacting accountability. The principal in anti-hazing law is command responsibility. The leaders of the fraternity, the officials, officers are held accountable for the acts of the members of the fraternity," he said at the sidelines of the 12th Philippine-Spain Friendship Day celebration in Baler, Aurora. 

"Let's uphold that and secondly, let's not glamorize violence. Sometimes violence is glamorized- machismo, popular culture, etc.- I think these are harmful byproducts of initiation," he said.

While fraternity is about brotherhood, the senator said it should not be a cover for any member to circumvent the law.

"We have to uphold the law, otherwise if we don't uphold the law it threatens the institutions," Angara added.

Asked if the law has become useless since it failed to stop violence, Angara said:  "Well, I think it is a deterrent because I have seen fraternities lessen their violence over time... it's like the newer fraternities (who get involved)." 

In his assessment, Angara said the new fraternities are "trying to follow in the footsteps of the older fraternities, who have had successful products that think it's the violence that made them successful."

On the contrary, Angara said the older fraternity members have been going the opposite direction. "They're actually lessening the violence, the initiation,"he said.

Rather than amend, Angara said there is a need to take a look at the implementation of the law.

"But at the moment, the law is there and I think if we strictly enforce it it should provide a deterrence for the officers of the frats who are held responsible but that's the accountability principle under the law," he said.

For his part, Aquino also condemned the latest frat-related death.

"This culture of violence must stop now! We strongly denounce the use of inhumane means because it has no space in a civilized and modern society where we live in," he said in a statement.

Aquino pointed out that violence is not the way to foster brotherhood and camaraderie. "There are other more humane ways where we can cultivate brotherhood and unity," he said.

Aquino called on the authorities to ensure that those behind this senseless act be brought to justice and punished for their crimes.

On Sunday, Sen. Vicente Sotto III also decried the use of violence in frat groups.

"None of the previous hazing incidents have been solved. The DOJ should exert more effort in the prosecution of these cases. Otherwise, there will be more deaths to come," Sotto said.

ANGARA AQUINO COLLEGE OF ST. BENILDE DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY FRATERNITY LAW ON SUNDAY PHILIPPINE-SPAIN FRIENDSHIP DAY SENATORS JUAN EDGARDO ANGARA AND BAM AQUINO VIOLENCE
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