PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said it would be difficult to stop hazing despite a law banning it.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday before leaving for an official visit to Russia, Duterte said, “Prangka-prangka lang, hindi mo maaalis yan.”
Duterte had signed Republic Act 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018. The law bans all forms of hazing and regulates initiation rites — physical and psychological — of fraternities, sororities, and organizations to make it safer for recruits.
The law came about after the hazing death of University of Santo Tomas freshman law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III in the hands of Aegis Juris Fraternity members on September 2017.
Duterte’s remarks also came after the fatal hazing of Philippine Military Academy plebe Darwin Dormitorio.
When asked if he would be for banning hazing in the country, Duterte said, “That is a permanent insanity sa mga ganon.”
Duterte recounted how he himself went through hazing in college, and was even hospitalized for three days due to “massive hematoma.” He added he and two classmates wrote to their fraternity and “earnestly” asked to do away with hazing.
“Wala rin. Hindi mo talaga maalis ‘yan [Nothing happened. You can’t get rid of it]... Unless you ban fraternities for all time. Make it a criminal offense by joining a fraternity, but that would raise many Constitutional issues,” he said.
The President said he is against hazing that is “carried too far.”
“Tapos ‘yang human degradation.... Yung you order the plebes, the lower class to perform mga oral sex,ganon, hindi trabaho ng lalake yan,” he said.
Such kinds of hazing fosters lifetime animosity between people, Duterte said.
He added, “Yung tamang-tama lang. Yung ‘pag madala sa ospital, mabuhay. Huwag naman yung mamatay... ‘Wag lang sumobra.”
Duterte said there were rules to follow, not doing so would mean jail or death. “Ganon lang ‘yan [That’s just how it is],” he said.
A veteran lawmaker has proposed a measure seeking to make hazing a heinous crime.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed House Bill 4922 declaring hazing as a heinous crime especially if it results to death, rape, sodomy or mutilation.
According to Rodriguez, since 1954 there have already been 30 deaths from hazing.
“These 30 deaths are senseless and should have never happened. The victims had bright futures ahead of them. However, due to barbaric traditions, lives were unnecessarily taken,” Rodriguez stressed.
Rodriguez said the death of Philippine Military Academy Fourth Class Cadet Darwin Dormitorio and other victims should be considered heinous for being grievous, odious and hateful offenses.
A law student, Lenny Villa, also died from hazing on February 10, 1991.
The death of Villa was one of the first that drew national attention which eventually led to the passage of Republic Act No. 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995.
“The law was aimed at preventing hazing. Unfortunately, it did not,” Rodriguez said.
Also for this reason, Rodriguez filed House Bill 5007 or an Act Declaring February 10 of every year as the National Anti-Hazing Day.
With Jester P. Manalastas