Sotto seeks total ban on hazingBy Katherine Evangelista
MANILA, Philippines—Senate Majority floor leader Vicente Sotto on Tuesday urged the total banning of hazing instead of simply regulating the deadly initiation rite.
“I think that is what we should study is to totally ban this form of hazing,” said Sotto a day after a law student died following a suspected fraternity hazing.
Sotto said that bills are pending before Congress seeking to amend Republic Act No. 8049, which regulates hazing and other forms of initiation rites in fraternities, sororities and other organizations.
One of the proposed amendments is to make officials of fraternities and sororities liable even if they are not present during the initiation or hazing rites, he said.
This way, Sotto said the officials could be held accountable if untoward incident happens during initiations, adding they would be obliged to police their own ranks.
“We are strengthening, expanding and reinforcing the punishment and we are firming up the law by including all those involved including officials so that the officials will prevent their members from abusing or going overboard in their initiation rites,” he said.
However, when asked about the chance of the measure being ratified in Congress where several lawmakers are themselves alumni of fraternities and sororities, Sotto said: “We’ll have to work on it.”
“We need to work on this even if we will get oppositions. We should push to clarify, explain clearly and get them to agree with us,” he said.
Sotto said the anti-hazing law needs to be amended even without fresh reports of violent initiations.
“We are always late in taking action. Here we are again. They are hard-headed therefore we should also toughen and strengthen [the law],” Sotto said.
On Tuesday, San Beda law school freshman Mark Andrei Marcos, 21, died and police suspected he was a victim of fraternity hazing.
Last February, San Beda law student Marvin Reglos also died following the hazing rites of the Lambda Rho Beta fraternity at a resort in Antipolo City.