Solons push to speed up passage of anti-hazing law amendments
Lawmakers on Tuesday pushed to fast track the passage of a bill that would completely outlaw hazing and impose stricter penalties against offenders of the Anti-Hazing Law following the recent death of a University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student in an apparent initiation rite.
Members of the House committee on justice’s subcommittee on prosecutorial reforms tackled House Bill No. 3467, or the Revised Anti-Hazing Law, which seeks to criminalize all forms of hazing and expand the scope of the measure.
The bill, authored by Bagong Henerasyon Party-List Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, expressly prohibits hazing and regulated initiation rites of fraternities, sororities, and other organizations.
“The main difference, Mr. Chair, is that in the Republic Act No. 8049 (the Anti-Hazing Law), we were regulating hazing as opposed to this, we are completely prohibiting any forms of hazing,” Herrera-Dy said during the committee hearing.
The proposed measure also expanded the definition of hazing, which would include not just the physical but also psychological injuries caused to the neophyte.
It also defined “initiation” and “initiation rites,” which were not included under R.A. 8049.
The measure also includes community-based fraternities, sororities, and other organizations, which were not covered under the current law.
It also requires the recognition of these organizations by the schools and local government units.
The subcommittee discussed the measure more than a week after the death of Horacio Tomas “Atio” Castillo III in a fatal hazing incident. His killing has reignited the calls to ban hazing and for stronger regulation of fraternities and sororities.
Justice committee chair Rep. Reynaldo Umali said the bill would hopefully address the “many ailments of the existing law towards making the law making more strict and difficult to violate.” /idl
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