House bill seeks jail time for willing hazing victims
MANILA, Philippines — Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles has filed a bill that will imprison fraternity recruits who knowingly and willingly allow themselves to be hazing victims.
In filing House Bill No. 5248, the lawyer argued that “there will be no hazing if there are no willing victims thereof, who, in their own time, will also perpetuate the same vicious cycle of violence to others.”
“Congress should pass more aggressive initiatives and deterrents to arrest this culture of violence,” he added.
Nograles said his bill seeks to cure the gap in the current Anti-Hazing Law because hazing victims, although they have suffered physical and psychological injuries and torture, are not held criminall liable.
Section 3 of the proposed bill states that “recruits, neophytes, applicants, and members of fraternities, sororities, or organizations who intentionally or deliberately allow themselves to be victims of hazing and knowingly and willingly cooperate in the actual execution thereof shall be considered accomplices to hazing.”
There must be two elements for one to be considered an accomplice, according to Nograles.
First, he said the victim of hazing must “intentionally and deliberately allow himself or herself to be a victim of hazing as defined by the law.”
Second, the victim “must knowingly cooperate in the actual execution of hazing”
The proposed law, however, allows such victims to be discharged as state witnesses.
Nograles said this feature would break the “conspiracy of silence” among perpetrators of hazing.
Those convicted of being accomplices in the hazing will face reclusion temporal.
The bill has been pending with the House justice committee since Wednesday, November 6.
Nograles filed the bill following the hazing-related death of 20-year-old Philippine Military Academy Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio.
In July 2018, Republic Act No. 11053 which amended the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995 and banned all forms of hazing and impose stiffer penalties against violators, was enacted into law.
This came following public outrage on the death of a University of Santo Tomas freshman law student, Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, due to hazing in September 2017. /gsg
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