In Cebu City, 9 fraternities commit to end hazing
CEBU CITY — Nine fraternities based in this city have pledged to stop the use of violence during initiation rites to avoid deaths and serious injuries to new recruits.
Police Lt. Col. Maria Theresa Macatangay, spokesperson of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said the fraternities signed a commitment to stop hazing in a ceremony organized by the local police at the Cebu City Hall on March 20.
The groups, she said, also promised to help law enforcement agencies in the investigation whenever there would be violators.
Macatangay, also a lawyer, said the fraternities that promised to abide by Republic Act No. 11053, or the Anti-Hazing law, were the Alpha Phi Omega, Scouts Royale Brotherhood, Beta Gamma Rho, Alpha Kappa Rho, Tau Gamma Phi, Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Phi Epsilon, Gamma Phi Sigma and Upsilon Phi Sigma.
Roniel Telebangco, chair of Tau Gamma Phi Cebu City Council, said they would amend their initiation practices to avoid the loss of more lives to hazing.
Tau Gamma fraternity members were linked to the deaths of Ronnel Baguio, a sophomore marine engineering student of the University of Cebu who died on Dec. 19, 2022, nine days after an initiation rite in Cebu City; and John Matthew Salilig, a junior chemical engineering student of Adamson University who died on Feb. 18, 2023, after undergoing fraternity hazing in the City of Biñan, Laguna, but whose body was only found on Feb. 28 in a shallow grave in Imus, Cavite.
In an online forum on Tuesday, Telebangco said they would want to strictly adhere to the Anti-Hazing law but admitted they have difficulty monitoring all their chapters.
To avoid deaths due to hazing, he said they would revoke the initiator’s membership and remove members that would engage in hazing, stressing that “no one is above the law” and “whoever violates the law should be held answerable.”
Macatangay said the CCPO would form a council of fraternities, composed of police officers and leaders of the fraternities, who would monitor initiation rites and make sure that no law would be violated.
Last Wednesday, the police filed charges against seven Tau Gamma members, including a professor, over the death of Baguio.
Leny Baguio said she was relieved that the wheels of justice had started to move for her son.
“It is so painful to lose a son. I’m grateful that cases have already been filed so that justice will be served,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
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