Atioâs parents urge lawmakers to list hazing as heinous crime
In this October 2017 file photo, parents of alleged hazing victim Horacio "Atio" Castillo III attended the Senate probe into his death.
Senate PRIB/Romeo Bugante, File
Atio’s parents urge lawmakers to list hazing as heinous crime
( - September 22, 2019 - 6:02pm

MANILA, Philippines — The parents of hazing victim Horacio “Atio” Castillo III on Sunday asked lawmakers to include hazing in the list of heinous crimes amid the recent death of a cadet of the Philippine Military Academy.

Atio’s mother Carmina Castillo, in a radio interview, said she is calling for the inclusion of hazing as a heinous crime because students continue to disregard Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995.

"I’m asking our…‘yung mga mambabatas natin maybe include hazing as a heinous crime already. Kasi patuloy na dini-disregard siya eh, maybe kailangan nang gawing heinous siya,” Carmina said in an interview with DZMM.

(I’m asking our lawmakers to maybe include hazing as a heinous crime already. Because they continue to disregard it.)

“Pangalanan na talaga siya idefine na talaga siya as a heinous crime. Maybe it will deter," she added.

(Just name it and define is as a heinous crime. Maybe it will deter.)

Carmina made the call after the death of Darwin Dormitorio who was also believed to be a victim of hazing like their son Atio. Atio died after the supposed brutal hazing rites conducted by the Aegis Jvris fraternity.

READ: Cadet was maltreated, PMA admits

The Castillo family marked the second anniversary of the death of Atio last September 17.

Carmina said that hazing is a form of violence that’s against human rights that’s why the lawmakers made a separate law for it other than murder.

Meanwhile, Atio’s father, Horacio Castillo Jr., also said that the lawmakers should provide stiffer punishment for hazing convicts.

He said that while the Anti-Hazing Act provides reclusion perpetua or 40 years of imprisonment there might be a concern on the early release of these convicts due to the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance law.

The GCTA law reduces the prison terms of convicts based on the good behavior they have displayed.

Horacio said convicts who committed heinous crimes should not be granted early release.

"Kawawang-kawawa po 'yung family. Ang laki ng hirap para mabigyan ng hustisya 'yung victims, later to find out na ito pala ay pwede mapaiksi," he said.

(The families of the victims are pitiful. It is difficult for them to gain justice for the victims, only to find out later that the prison terms can be shortened.)

Last June, the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 14 found former Aegis Jvris member John Paul Solano guilty beyond reasonable doubt on obstruction of justice over the fatal hazing of Atio. The court, however, acquitted him of perjury.

Solano is sentenced to serve up to four years, two months and one day.

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