WITH ONLY one conviction in 22 years, a bill revising Republic Act (RA) 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law was presented before the House Committee on Justice on Tuesday by Quezon City Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy.
According to Dy, RA 8049 or An Act Regulating Hazing and Other Forms of Initiation Rites In Fraternities, Sororities And Other Organizations And Providing Penalties Therefore had a lot of holes.
She said her proposal wishes to “make all hazing illegal.”
A total of 22 deaths was caused by hazing from 2000 to 2014.
“This must change. The current Anti-Hazing Law passed in 1995 [after]the clamor [over]the death of Lenny Villa is simply not enough to stop the practice,” Dy said.
She pointed to the deaths from hazing of Mark Andre Marcos, Marvin Reglos, Noel Borja Jr., Glacy Monique Dimaranan and Elvin Sinaluan.
“Unfortunately, so many more have died. They were students of law, medicine, engineering, criminology and economics,” Dy said.
Beyond the physical abuse, according to her, the victim also experiences emotional and sexual abuse from hazing.
“[The bill] also recognizes the psychological suffering of the hazing victim. It opens up perpetrators to civil and criminal liabilities. Additional aggravating circumstances are included to make sure the maximum sentences are imposed.” Dy said.
A member of the University of the Philippines’ law sorority Delta Lambda, she added that there are many sororities and fraternities that do not conduct hazing.
RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA