Amid the controversies surrounding hazing in Philippine universities, Cagayan de Oro Second District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez wants to add hazing to the list of heinous crimes in the country.
Rodriguez filed House Bill (HB) 4922 “declaring hazing as a heinous crime if, as a consequence of the hazing, death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation results therefrom.”
In his explanatory note, he cited over 30 hazing deaths that have been recorded since 1954.
“These 30 deaths are senseless and should have never happened. The victims had bright futures ahead of them. However, due to barbaric ‘traditions,’ lives were unnecessarily taken,” he said.
“These deaths due to hazing should be considered heinous for being grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized, and ordered society,” Rodriguez added.
Republic Act (RA) 11053 or the “Anti-Hazing Act of 2018” defines hazing as any act that results in physical or psychological suffering, harm, or injury inflicted on a recruit, neophyte, applicant, or member as part of an initiation rite made as a prerequisite for admission in a fraternity, sorority or organization.
RA 11053 imposes a penalty of reclusion perpetua and a P3-million fine on those who conducts hazing rites that will lead to the death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation of a prospective member.
The bill also covers methods of harm such as paddling, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment likely to adversely affect the health of a potential member.
The recent death of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Cdt. 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio due to hazing and maltreatment from his fellow cadets sparked public outrage over the past weeks. Three more PMA cadets who were “maltreated” were also hospitalized.