THE House of Representatives will start hearings today on a proposed measure banning all forms of hazing in fraternities and similar school-based organizations amid the fleeing of at least five suspects in the death of hazing victim Guillo Cesar Servando.
Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City (Metro Manila), author of House Bill (HB) 4714 or the Servando Act made the announcement on Monday and disclosed that Servando’s father, Aurelio, is expected to attend the first day of the hearings.
His proposal imposes a hefty P1 million to P3 million and lifetime imprisonment on fraternities, sororities, student organizations and school administrators who will be involved in hazing,
HB 4714 provides that officers of the fraternity, sorority or organization as well as participating members involved in the hazing will be meted a jail time of 12 to 20 years on top of a P1 million.
This penalty will be raised to P3 million if those involved in the hazing will be found under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
If the hazing resulted in death, rape, sodomy or mutilation of the victim, participants will be penalized with lifetime imprisonment and a fine of P3 million
Also, the school will be fined P3 million if it approved the written application to conduct initiation by a fraternity, sorority or any student organization and hazing occurred during the activity or if no school representatives were present during initiation rites.
“In order to stop hazing, the law should state it for what it is: a barbaric, criminal act that compromises the integrity of any organization that employs it as a means of initiation. Our existing Anti-Hazing law merely seeks to regulate hazing when it should be banned outright. Anything less than the explicit prohibition and criminalization of hazing is not enough,” Gatchalian pointed out in his explanatory note on the measure.
The late Servando, a sophomore student of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), died in the hands of Tau Gamma Phi fraternity last June 28. The National Bureau of Investigation already charged at least 20 people in connection with Servando’s death, but five of these suspects already left the country.
The fugitives are Alyssa Valbuena, John Kevin Navoa, Esmerson Calupas, Hans Killian Tatlonghari and Eleazar Pablico III.
“It is my sincere hope that this legislation will be the first step toward creating a peaceful and productive culture for fraternities, sororities and organizations, guaranteeing that anyone who violates the human rights of a neophyte will be swiftly punished. Purposeful young people should not have a senseless end through hazing,” Gatchalian said.