December 5, 2023

On March 12, 2018, the 17th Congress enacted Republic Act 11053 or “The Anti- Hazing Act of 2018”.
By its title, the law prohibits hazing and other forms of initiation rites of fraternities, sororities and other organizations that recruit members in the universities, colleges and other educational institutions, including military establishments.
The same law includes hazing in the list of heinous crimes such as murder, rape, syndicated estafa, illegal recruitment and the like.
The seriousness of the offense is manifested by the penalty imposed against those convicted. The penalty is reclusion perpetua and a fine of P3 million.
Just by the thought of the consequences of the crime of hazing should make fraternity members think twice before engaging in violent rituals to recruit their members. But no. Hazing persists.
Just this week, there were two incidents of hazing that were prominently reported in the traditional and social media.
One is in Manila involving a student from Adamson University and the other involved a cadet in a Cebu university. The former is more prominent owing to the availability of information regarding the crime and the apprehension of the suspects who perpetuated it. Their story is as gruesome and as despicable as all the other hazing that were reported in the past years. All of it involved the death of the recruit and all of them claim that they did so in the name of brotherhood. Really?
Brothers do not hurt each other, much more kill each other. Any fraternity or soro-rity that adheres to violence must be outlawed and must be disbanded as an organization. Yet, those fraternities that have been involved in hazing remain to be deeply entrenched and continue to recruit members. Why is this so? Because some of their members are prominent persons.
Incumbent senators have taken cognizance of the issue regarding hazing. They are conducting their own investigation regarding the killing of the Adamson University student who died after receiving several blows to different parts of his body using a paddle fit for the slaughter of pigs and cows. Based on the admissions made by the fraternity members, they literally tortured him to death.
It makes it more shocking that after the victim died, they decided to bury him and conceal the evidence of their crime. A fuming Sen.Raffy Tulfo is, therefore, probably correct when he said these fraternity members should not be shown any mercy and they deserve to rot in jail so that they shall serve as a lesson to other inclined fraternity members.
In perspective, this unfortunate event will only serve to simmer down the violent activities of fraternities.
The sentiment being demonstrated by the nation is temporary. For sure, in the future, as long as fraternities exist and the cycle of violence in the manner that members are recruited persist, there will be other hazing that will occur.