Lina blames weak enforcement of law for hazing deathsBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Joey Lina, author of the Anti-hazing law, blamed the weak implementation of the law for the continued deaths due to hazing.
“The law must not be construed as the ultimate or the ‘be all, end all solution’ to stop the crime of hazing. It would be naive to think that a law can substantially reduce crime incidents if it is not being implemented and enforced strictly,” Lina said in a statement released to media Wednesday.
He said people’s first reaction is to blame the law whenever another fatal hazing incident occurs.
“No amount of strengthening of the law will eradicate crimes if other pillars of the criminal justice system fail to prosecute, convict and incarcerate offenders,” he said
“We have all the anti-graft or anti-rape laws in our statute books, yet such crimes prevail,” he added.
He called for the strict implementation of the current law against hazing and for the suspects to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“Police authorities must have thorough training on the law—they must know who and what to look for in the course of their investigation. They must know that all persons present at the crime scene [who] did not do anything to stop the violence could be charged as principal suspects,” Lina said.
“Also, the community and barangay officials must have an awareness program to look out for possible hazing incidents occurring or about to occur in their neighbourhood so that decisive action could be undertaken before it’s too late,”
Mark Andrei Marcos, a San Beda College of Law freshman, recently died due to alleged hazing by a fraternity he was joining.
Several law makers expressed their intent to have the law amended in light of the recent fatal hazing incident.