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Malacaang creates anti-hazing task force

By Kristine Angeli Sabillo |INQUIRER.net


8:18 pm | Monday, September 1st, 2014

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Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa file photo


MANILA, Philippines Malacaang on Monday announced that an inter-agency task force has
been created to bolster the Anti-Hazing Law amid continued incidents of fraternity violence.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa has signed Memorandum Circular No. 68 to step up
governments response to fraternity violence and strengthen the implementation of the AntiHazing Law (Republic Act No. 8049), a Presidential News Desk report said.
The task force seeks to address the need to ensure that there is justice for hazing fatalities and
their families. At the same time, we have to look at whether the law can be improved so that its
objectives are met, Ochoa said in the statement.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima will lead the task force and will be given full executive
authority, which includes giving direct operational instructions to member agencies including
the Department of National Defense (DND), the Department of Interior and Local Government
(DILG), the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), the Philippine National Police (PNP),
the National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for
Legal Affairs.
The Task Force will not only review the Anti-Hazing Law but will also formulate policies for the
coordination and monitoring of related programs that will hopefully prevent hazing fatalities. It
will also be required to submit a regular report to the Office of the President.

Last June, a College of St. Benilde student died due to injuries caused by hazing while another
fraternity neophyte from the University of the Philippines spent a week in the hospital after
taking a similar beating during his initiation rites.
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Lawmaker: Loopholes in Anti-Hazing Law


tolerates violence
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By John Carlo Cahinhinan


Saturday, July 5, 2014

A LAWMAKER said loopholes in the anti-hazing law has resulted in the continued proliferation
of fraternity-related violence in the country.
Kabataan Party-list Representative Terry Ridon said loopholes such as the exclusion of
community fraternities and sororities from the authorities has rendered the law toothless and
contributed to the continued practice of violent initiation rites that resulted in the death of De La
Salle-College of St. Benilde student Guillo Servando.
"Despite the existence of a 19-year-old Anti-Hazing Law, such acts of violence continue to
proliferate without a single conviction," Ridon said.
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Servando has been added to the long list of hazing victims, which include San Beda students
Marc Andrei Ramos and Marvin Reglos, and University of the Philippines (UP) students Alex
Icasiano and Cris Mendez, all of whom have yet to attain justice for their deaths.
In 1995, Congress passed into law Republic Act (RA) 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law, in the light
of the death of Leni Villa, a law student from Ateneo de Manila who similarly died from hazing.
The law defined hazing as "an initiation rite or practice as a prerequisite for admission into
membership in a fraternity, sorority or organization by placing the recruit, neophyte or applicant
in some embarrassing or humiliating situations such as forcing him or her to do menial, silly,
foolish and similar tasks or activities or otherwise subjecting him or her to physical or
psychological suffering or injury."
Ridon said he will again file a resolution calling for the review of the Anti-Hazing Law on
Monday.
"The review of RA 8049 is long overdue. Congress should revisit this law, and address issues
that have made its full implementation difficult and have rendered RA 8049 inutile," Ridon said.
Meanwhile, Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin Gatchalian criticized the reluctance of
university administrators to cooperate with police authorities in their investigation of violent
hazing incidents, particularly the case of Servando.
Gatchalian said the Makati City police have already obtained the names of two prime suspects in
the death of Servando based on the statements taken from one of the three other neophytes who
underwent violent hazing in the hands of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity chapter at the DLS-CSB.
Two of the suspects were identified as Cody Errol Morales, 22, said to be the Lord GT (Grand
Triskelion) of the TGP-DLS-CSB chapter and Pope Bautista who is the fraternity secretary. Six
other Tau Gamma Phi frat men were identified only by their nicknames: Emeng, who is said to
be the master initiator; Navoa, Rey Jay, Mike, Kurt and Louie.
The administration of DLS-CSB, however have refused to cooperate with police investigators,
who are asking for the records of Morales and Bautista as part of the ongoing probe to determine
who were responsible for the death of Servando.
"The fact that Benilde officials want a court order before they give records of students involved
in the Servando case is an indication of their refusal to be accountable in fraternity-related
incidents," said Gatchalian said.
He noted that this was the same attitude by UP officials who have remained mum on the case of
a 17-year-old UP student who was hospitalized for two days after undergoing initiation rites in
the hands of members of Upsilon Sigma Phi inside a building in Quezon City.
The UP Diliman administration has issued a statement confirming that there was a "fraternity
incident" but said it was not giving details pending an investigation.

The legislator observed that whenever there are incidents of violent hazing involving their
students, the standard reply of school administrators is that they prohibit fraternities and they
discourage students from joining such groups.
"Educational institutions should be held accountable in case neophytes suffer physical harm or
worse, death. Parents entrust their childrens safety to school authorities, who should be able to
monitor what is happening in their own backyard and be liable for any trouble, especially
hazing," Gatchalian said.
The lawmaker is pushing to repeal the Anti-Hazing Law and is proposing a bill that hopes to put
an end to the practice of violent hazing, which has resulted in several deaths of promising young
students.
He noted that the law has not been effective in putting a stop to violent hazing and it does not
hold accountable school administrators whenever injuries and death results from initiation rites
conducted by fraternities.
"The so-called Anti-Hazing Law is a misnomer. It does not prohibit hazing but only regulates it.
We need a new law that will put an end to violent hazing which has caused the senseless death of
Guillo Cesar Servando and serious injuries to a UP-Diliman student," said Gatchalian.
He said schools should be able to monitor what is happening in their own backyard and be liable
for any trouble, especially hazing, the lawmaker said.
The lawmaker is pushing to repeal the Anti-Hazing Law and is proposing a bill that hopes to put
an end to the practice of violent hazing, which has resulted to several deaths of promising young
students.
He said the law has not been effective in putting a stop to violent hazing and it does not hold
accountable school administrators whenever injuries and death results from initiation rites
conducted by fraternities. (Sunnex)
Legarda: Amend Anti-Hazing Law to Increase Awareness and Accountability
"Hazing has laid claim to many lives, and will continue to do so unless we take concerted
action," Senator Loren Legarda said today in a privilege speech where she called to amend RA
8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law.
"These tragic, untimely deaths prove that hazing remains a serious problem in fraternities,
sororities, and other organizations in the country. The Anti-Hazing Law in its current incarnation
is evidently not enough," she explained.
"We are called upon by the Filipino people to act on these tragedies. Let us advocate heightened
awareness and participation among all stakeholders, and reestablish accountability among
fraternities, sororities, organizations, and administrators of universities and colleges alike," she
emphasized.

She suggested that careful research should be conducted on effective administrative practices to
regulate fraternities, sororities, and organizations should be conducted.
"Banning these student endeavors will only result in driving them underground, making it harder
for them to be monitored. Alternatives should be sought and implemented immediately," she
added.
Legarda, expressing indignation over the recent hazing-related death of San Beda College of
Law freshman Mark Andre Marcos, also reiterated her call to ensure that perpetrators of hazing
are held accountable.
"There is a need to revisit the current policy of regulation under the Anti-Hazing Law given its
failure to deter violence and the apparent audacity by which these fraternities and sororities and
their officers and members perpetrate violence without regard to the existing mandate of the
law," she concluded.