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Senators to support new measure banning all forms of hazing.

Many senators are inclined to support a measure banning all forms of hazing following the fatal initiation of University of Santo Tomas (UST) freshman law student Horacio Castillo III last Sept. 17.

On Tuesday, senators, including those who admit undergoing hazing in their respective fraternities and organizations, vowed to support amendments that will give more teeth to the existing Anti-Hazing Law.

'I am one of those who went through hazing when I joined a fraternity more than 50 years ago. I will support a total ban on any form of hazing,' Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said in a text message.

Senator Miguel Zubiri, despite going through hazing in the past, called for an end to the practice of violent initiation rites.

Zubiri said he is confident that his colleagues in the Senate will fully support the strengthening of the anti-hazing law, which will prohibit all forms of physical, mental and psychological violence to any new recruit for any organization, fraternity or sorority.

'A lot of senators have gone through hazing, including myself. As my organization in UPLB (University of the Philippines Los Baos) would do paddling as their initiation rites in the eighties. At that time there were no laws governing initiations or fraternities. And as we've seen and experienced the violence that goes in the initiation process and seen the evil that is inculcated to the neophytes that creates a culture of violence,' Zubiri said.

'This, through the years, had injured, maimed, tortured ang killed hundreds or maybe thousands of young men and women and this should stop,' the senator said.

Senator Grace Poe also expressed confidence that her fratmen-colleagues will condemn the 'barbarity and senselessness' of hazing rites.

'I am confident that these fratmen-senators who are now themselves parents or grandparents to young children acknowledge the barbarity and senselessness of inflicting severe pain, at the risk of death, on innocent students just to gain membership or recognition in an organization,' Poe said in a text message.

'The only sensible course of action for them, for all of us, is to make sure that Atio's death will be the last with the strict implementation of the hazing law and the necessary introduction of amendments to give it more teeth,' she said.

In fact, Poe said that the senators are in agreement to introduce amendments to the existing hazing laws to make sure that Castillo's case will be the last.

For his part, Senator Bam Aquino believes that the senators are united in amending the anti-hazing law.

'Amending and improving the Anti-Hazing Act is an issue where I expect all the senators to come together and act in unison,' Aquino said in a text message.

'These senseless and needless deaths must be stopped and no other young life should be wasted on this barbaric, cruel and heartless practice. I predict that no matter the party or background or even previous experiences with hazing will derail our working in unison to put an end to this,' Aquino said. /jpv

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Sep 26, 2017
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