President Rodrigo R. Duterte believed that joining a fraternity should be made a criminal offense to stop hazing.
“You know, if you join and you get caught, sorry. You cannot do away with that. Unless you ban fraternity for all time. Make it a criminal offense by joining a fraternity. But that would raise so many constitutional issues,” he said.
The President is a victim of hazing too
Duterte, a member of the Lex Talionis fraternity at the San Beda College of Law, had his share of hazing experience too. He admitted being hospitalized due to hematoma or a mass of blood clots in various parts of his body.
Duterte said he and his other brothers tried to stop the physical initiation; they even wrote about it to the group but to no avail.
Hazing talks ignited anew
Public discussions on hazing re-emerged after the death of Darwin Dormitorio, a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet. This was soon followed by a hazing incident of a UP student.
The incidents happened despite the law which prohibits all forms of hazing in fraternities, sororities and organizations in schools, communities, businesses and uniformed service learning institutions known as the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018.
The law penalizes those who plan or join initiations that cause physical or psychological suffering, harm or injury. Those individuals who are found guilty of hazing that results in death, rape, sodomy or mutilation will face imprisonment of 20-40 years and a fine of P3 million.
“There are rules to follow. You break the rules, you go to jail. That’s the way it is. Or you die. Those are simple matters in life, ” the President said.
Solon wants to make hazing a heinous crime
Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed House Bill 4922, seeking to make hazing a heinous crime.
“These deaths due to hazing should be considered heinous for being grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society, ” the lawmaker said.
Source: The Philippine Star