July 12, 2018

Duterte Signs Anti-Hazing Act of 2018

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  • Hazing in all forms is now banned in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte signs the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 or Republic Act 11053, following the case of Horacio Castillo III in 2017.

    The newly-signed law amends the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995, which prohibits fraternities from implementing initiation rites that are beyond humanitarian welfare. The previous law, however, only gave law enforcers the power to stop an organization if:

    (1) It provides a written notice addressed to the school seven days prior to the initiation. The notice shall point out the period of the initiation (which shall only be done in three days or less), the names of the recruits, and the activities that shall not include any physical harm or violence.

    (2) The head of the school approves, and he or she assigns at least two officials who embody the school during the initiation rites.

    Despite the existence of this law, accounts of death by hazing still increased in number. In 2017, the name Horacio Castillo III, a 22-year-old law student, surrounded the walls of all media platforms and forums held at the Senate after being beaten and killed by members of Aegis Juris Fraternity.

    On January 24, 2018, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Sen. Panfilo Lacson proposed the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018—a law that will improve the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995, which failed to cease the continuous growth of hazing casualties due to the reservation it grants.

    VIDEO Office of Senator Ping Lacson on YouTube

    According to Lacson, the act of hazing is ‘merely violence and abuse, not brotherhood’.

    Hazing, according to the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, is defined as “any act that results in physical or psychological suffering, harm, or injury inflicted on a recruit, neophyte, applicant, or member as part of an initiation rite or practice made as a prerequisite for admission or requirement for continuing membership in a fraternity, sorority, or organization.”

    These acts include, but are not limited to, paddling, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug, or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect one’s physical and psychological health. It also includes any activity (intentional or otherwise) that tends to humiliate or embarrass, degrade, abuse, or endanger by requiring said recruit, neophyte, applicant, or member to do menial, silly, or foolish tasks.

    In the updated law, organizations are now required to apply and be recognized by school authorities before implementing any activity in and out of the campus, the school, on the other hand, shall have sets of guidelines that every organization shall adhere to 60 days after the act has been approved.

    Organizations that fail to compromise with the law shall pay a Php 3 million fine and be subjected to reclusion perpetua (life imprisonment) if the initiation activity results in death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation.

    In the Philippines, there are already 12 media-reported hazing deaths since 2010.

    Written by Jove Moya

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