‘PNPA scandal a test case for anti-hazing law’
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 29, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The recent sex scandal that rocked the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) would be a test case for Republic Act 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said yesterday.

Lacson said the controversy, which reportedly involved cadets forcing freshmen to perform oral sex as a form of punishment, is considered hazing under the law.

“In this case, the cadets involved may have the distinction of being the first to be convicted under the new law,” he said.

Lacson said hazing is considered a capital offense, and those found guilty face life in prison without bail.

He sponsored the bill in Senate after his committee on public order and dangerous drugs probed the fatal hazing of University of Sto. Tomas law student Horacio Castillo III.

President Duterte signed the measure into law on June 29.

Lacson said those involved in hazing risk losing the prime of their lives under the strengthened anti-hazing law.

Under the law, the definition of hazing has been expanded to include “physical or psychological suffering, harm or injury inflicted on a recruit, member, neophyte, or applicant” as a prerequisite for admission or for continued membership in an organization.

Banned under the law are all forms of hazing not only in fraternities, sororities or organizations in schools, but also those in communities and even businesses and uniformed service learning institutions.

Penalties include 12 to 20 years in prison and a fine of P1 million on the participating officer and members of the fraternity who were involved in the hazing; reclusion perpetua and a P2 million fine on members who actually participated in the act while under the influence of alcohol or drugs as well as non-residents or alumni who participate in the hazing; reclusion perpetua and P3-million fine on those who participated in hazing that resulted in death, rape, sodomy or mutilation.

A fine of P1 million on the school if it approved an initiation of a fraternity, sorority or organization where hazing occurred; six months to six years in prison for anyone who intimidates or threatens another for recruitment. This includes “persistent and repeated” proposals or invitations to those who refused to join at least twice.

A fine of P1 million will be imposed on former officers or alumni who try to hide or obstruct investigation. 

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