Condemning the reported latest incident of alleged hazing activity by a fraternity in the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian prodded UP authorities to ensure that “the full force of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 [Republic Act No. 11053] will fall on students proven to have been involved in the incident.”
At the same time, Gatchalian called on concerned university officials to “strengthen its crackdown on hazing incidents, put an end to their persistence, and guarantee safe spaces for all students.”
The lawmaker lamented a July 3 incident, documenting a series of tweets by the now-suspended Twitter account @UPSILONLEAKS that showed graphic videos and images of the alleged hazing incident.
Gatchalian griped that “while this account was suspended for violating community standards, a new Twitter account posted photos and videos of the alleged incident, recalling that this account also denounced what it called a pattern of covering up fraternity-linked violence in the university.”
The senator observed, “While no UP student has been implicated” in the videos and photos, UP Diliman Chancellor Dr. Fidel Nemenzo said the University’s units would work with student organizations to verify information.
“There should be no room for this kind of violence in our universities,’’ stressed Gatchalian, adding: “Kailangan nating panagutin ang sinumang mapapatunayang may kinalaman sa insidenteng ito at ipakita sa kanilang hindi nila matatakasan ang batas.”
Gatchalian, co-author and co-sponsor of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, reminded that under the law, “all forms of hazing in fraternities, sororities, and organizations in schools, including citizens’ military training and citizens army training are prohibited.”
He added “this prohibition also applies to fraternities, sororities and organizations that are not school-based, including community-based and other similar organizations.
The senator stressed that the existing law also mandates all schools to “take more proactive steps to protect students from the dangers of participating in hazing activities.”
He reminded those inclined to violate the anti-hazing law that “the penalty of reclusion perpetua and a fine of P3 million shall be imposed upon those who plan or participate in hazing activities that result in death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation.”