AN 18-year-old student of the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) sustained serious injuries during the initiation rites of a sorority group in Las Piñas City on Sunday.
Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario Jr., director of the Southern Police District, said the hazing happened in an abandoned house on Ocampo Street.
He said the victim, who was told to bring food, candles and a sack, thought she was joining an outing with her classmates.
When she arrived at the venue, the victim, escorted by her four classmates, was greeted by around 40 members of the Tau Gamma sorority.
The victim was told to kneel and was immediately blindfolded.
The sorority members then took turns hitting her with belts, wooden sticks and paddles. The teenager was also slapped and her hair pulled by the sorority members. She also had to endure drops of melted candles on her back.
The victim received around 50 blows. She was escorted home by four of her classmates but her parents only learned of her ordeal the next day and took her to a hospital in Makati City.
“Definitely, we will conduct a thorough investigation on this incident. We have already talked to the victim and to other witnesses. We are searching her classmates who took part in the hazing,” Apolinario said.
He said four students who brought the victim to Las Piñas have been identified.
“That’s not allowed, (hazing) is against the law, it is a criminal offense,” Apolinario added.
Those who took part in the initiation rites can be charged with violation of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law.
The LPU in a statement said it does not recognise any fraternity or sorority or tolerate or condone violence of any kind.
“The institution had no knowledge of this activity and as such, this was not a school sponsored activity,” it said in a statement. “Having learned about the injuries suffered by one of its students in the hands of a fraternity, LPU sympathizes with its student and her family,” the university said.
It offered support and assistance to the student by means of medical insurance, legal and psychological counseling.
“LPU remains committed to its long standing campaign against students joining any fraternities while at the same time prays for the speedy recovery of the student involved,” it said.