New anti-hazing law: Life sentence for guilty fratmen
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - July 19, 2018 - 12:00am

While the whole nation has been preoccupied with the series of killings of mayors and vice mayors, with the Bangsa Moro and the Federalization issues, and the exciting Pacquiao-Matthysse brawl in Kuala Lumpur, we did not notice that President Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11053 (Anti-Hazing Act of 2018), amending RA 8049. This new law carries a penalty of ‘’reclusion perpetua’’ and a fine of P3 million to all who planned or participated in the hazing that results in death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation. Although ‘’reclusion perpetua’’ is not exactly similar as life sentence — since it carries imprisonment of 20 years and one day to 30 years — it is practically the whole life of the convicted hazing culprits. 

 

Under the law, even the universities, the deans and faculty advisers — who knowingly cooperated with, or gave consent to, the hazing — have criminal, civil and administrative liabilities. Hazing is defined as any act that results in physical and psychological suffering, harm or injury inflicted on a neophyte or applicant. The law considers all forms of hazing as criminal acts. All fraternities and sororities are required to register with the school, and a faculty adviser is required before registration can be granted. All schools are required to exercise the diligence of a prudent parent and shall act in ‘’loco parentis’’ (in the place of parents), even if the students are of legal age. Any waiver signed by the parents or the neophytes shall be considered null and void.

Also to be meted the penalty of ‘’reclusion perpetua’’ with a fine of P2 million are the advisers, former officers and alumni of the involved frat or sorority who are present during the hazing; any person who knowingly participated in the hazing; and all accomplices and accessories. The owner of the place where the hazing is done, shall be penalized as principal and thus may also be imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua or any other appropriate sanction. The university where the fraternity or sorority operates, in case of hazing, shall be imposed a fine of P1 million. Thus, administrators of these institutions should be very vigilant so as not to come under the purview of this very harsh piece of legislation.

Most of these fraternities do not have any redeeming social value. They do not contribute to nation-building. Instead many of these frats corrupt the judicial system. Practicing lawyers and judges, arbiters and commissioners have reportedly commit injustices in rendering unjust and dishonest, unfair and immoral judgments just to accommodate fraternity brods and sis. Some public biddings are rigged and public interests are sacrificed in the name of and due to fraternity ties. This new law should be strictly enforced so as to eliminate or limit the shenanigans perpetrated by fraternities and sororities. Many lives had been lost, and many lives had been shattered because of hazing.

Those parents whose sons died, like those of Atio Castillo of UST Law, and those fathers and mothers of law students who are now detained, and others convicted due to hazing can finally sigh in relief. The new law can save lives and prevent the shattering of dreams.

josephusbjimenez@gmail.com

ANTI-HAZING LAW
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