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Senate bill bans all forms of hazing, sets harsh penalties.

The Senate has started deliberations on the Anti-Hazing Act that one senator wanted to be called the Atio Castillo law, in memory of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) law freshman who died during a fraternity initiation rite last year.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday sponsored on the floor Senate Bill 1662, or the proposed Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, that prohibits 'all forms of hazing' in fraternities, sororities and similar organizations.

Lacson's bill came on the heels of the Senate findings and recommendations on the death of Castillo in September last year while undergoing initiation by members of the Aegis Juris fraternity.

'Written in blood'

'(T)his bill is written in the blood of Atio, Guillo (Servando, a hazing victim four years ago) and other promising young Filipinos who lost their lives to the senseless crime of hazing,' said Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, the bill's cosponsor.

The Senate joint committee sought disbarment proceedings against UST law dean Nilo Divina, as well as 18 other lawyers belonging to the fraternity, for concealing the death of Castillo, who, the committee found, died because of hazing.

Atio Castillo law

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, a friend of the Castillo family, proposed that the law be named after the UST law student.

The bill proposed harsher penalties of up to 40 years in jail and P3 million in fines.

Under the bill, hazing is defined as 'any physical or psychological suffering, harm or injury inflicted on a recruit, member, neophyte or applicant as a form of initiation rite or practice made as a prerequisite for admission or a requirement for continuing membership in a fraternity, sorority or organization.'

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jan 26, 2018
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