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Opinion

EDITORIAL - Inner beast

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MANILA, Philippines - Foreigners have often wondered why there is so much violence in this land where the majority of people are devout Catholics, quick to smile and renowned for hospitality. The roots of this problem can be traced partly to some school organizations that are supposed to foster brotherhood and good values among the youth.

A family is now grieving over the loss of a member in what can only be described as a senseless death. The body of EJ Karl Intia, just 19 years old, was found the other Sunday by a barangay councilman in a ravine along Marcos Highway in Sta. Maria, Laguna. The body bore signs of heavy beating all over plus traces of candle wax on the back. Police declared Intia, a student of the University of Makati, a victim of hazing during initiation rites of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. Four of about 20 APO members believed to have participated in the hazing have surrendered.

With hormones running amuck, youths can do the craziest things. Among the worst is hazing for initiation into a fraternity. Over the years, initiation rites have led to the deaths of many other students and the gang-rape of teenage girls. The problem cuts across income classes and has been reported even in the country’s top schools, including the University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila, as well as in the Philippine Military Academy and Philippine National Police Academy.

There are no quick fixes to this problem. Previous cases have shown that even exemplary parents can produce little monsters who are unmoved by their elders’ constant lectures on values formation. One deterrent is to ensure that hazing victims get justice. Perpetrators must be caught and punished, even if they are youthful offenders. If allowed to get off lightly, youthful offenders will turn into adults who believe Philippine society tolerates barbaric acts. Allowing them to get off lightly will also send the message to younger generations that giving full rein to their inner beast purely for the fun of it is a normal, integral part of growing up.

ALPHA PHI OMEGA

EVEN

HAZING

INITIATION

INTIA

KARL INTIA

MARCOS HIGHWAY

PHILIPPINE

PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY AND PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE ACADEMY

UNIVERSITY OF MAKATI

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES AND ATENEO

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