Stiffer penalties sought against hazing; amendments to law pushed

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WITH only one conviction in 22 years, a lawmaker at the House of Representatives is pushing for the amendment of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law that would make all hazing illegal and impose stiffer penalties on the perpetrators.

Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy of Quezon City presented the Revised Anti-Hazing measure, which she filed in September 2016, before the committee on justice on Tuesday.

Herrera-Dy said the act, titled An Act Regulating Hazing and Other Forms of Initiation Rites In Fraternities, Sororities, And Other Organizations And Providing Penalties had a lot of loopholes.

“What then does it mean to regulate? It is not true that to regulate is to control or supervise by means of rules and regulations?”

“It is to address these issues that this bill wishes to make all hazing illegal. Raising the penalties from timed to life imprisonment, and making crimes that the victim has been hazed to perform attached to the perpetrator,” said Herrera-Dy.

“This must change. The current anti-hazing law passed in 1995 following the clamor after the death of Lenny Villa is simply not enough to stop the practice,” said Herrera-Dy who named other hazing victims like 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. They were cadets aspiring the armed forces. They were children who simply sought acceptance.”

Herrera-Dy emphasized that beyond the physical abuse, the victim also experienced 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 aggregating circumstances are included to make sure the maximum sentences are imposed,” Herrera-Dy said.

Herrera-Dy, a member of the University of the Philippines’ law sorority Delta Lambda, also said that there were many sororities and fraternities that did not haze its members. RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA

 

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