SEVEN senators pressed for the passage of Senate Bill 1662 banning all forms of hazing and imposing stricter penalties on violators.
Senators Gregorio Honasan 2nd, Sherwin Gatchalian, Vicente Sotto 3rd, Loren Legarda, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Paolo Benigno Aquino, and Panfilo Lacson jointly authored SBN 1662 on January 23 amending Republic Act 8049, which merely regulated hazing.
The Senate Committees on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, Justice and Human Rights, and Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes submitted Committee Report 233 summarizing the result of the investigation on the death of University of Sto. Tomas (UST) freshmen law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo 3rd on November 17, 2017 after attending the initiation rites of the Aegis Juris fraternity.
Zubiri urged Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd to file charges against those involved in the alleged torture of Castillo, which led to his “gruesome death.”
“I am confident that the Senate recommendations and amendments to the Anti-Hazing Law will prevent senseless injuries, mental and emotional distress and deaths from hazing,” he said.
“The illegal acts constituting hazing are now explicitly stated without room for grey areas; unlike the old law which accepted and merely regulated fatal hazing rites,” Zubiri said.
SBN 1662 metes out life imprisonment and imposes a fine of P3 million on those who actually participated in the hazing “if, as a consequence of the hazing, death, rape, sodomy or mutilation results therefrom.”
It also intends to impose life imprisonment and P2 million fine on the members of the fraternity, sorority, or organization that participated in the hazing under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
The same penalty will be imposed on the non-resident or alumni members of the fraternity, sorority, or organization who participated in the hazing.
A P1 million fine will also be imposed on participating officers and members of the fraternity, sorority, or organization involved in hazing as well as be meted with maximum of 20 years imprisonment.
Schools will also be fined P1 million if it will allow the conduct of hazing in their premises. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO