MANILA—Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) senatorial candidate Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday vowed that if elected to the Senate, he would vigorously push for the passage of his proposed House Bill No. 5760 which seeks to criminalize all forms of hazing.
The Valenzuela City lawmaker made the vow following a viral post on Facebook by a University of the Philippines (UP) student about her traumatic experiences while undergoing the application process of a student organization.
“Most people think that hazing only occurs in fraternities and sororities but it also happens in the application process of some student organizations. And just because there are no reported deaths from hazing in such student groups does not mean the violence is not happening,” he noted.
“Through our proposed measure, we hope to finally put an end to all forms of hazing,” Gatchalian, who penned the bill seeking to repeal Republic Act No. 8094 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995, said.
In the Facebook post that has become viral, a UP alumna said she may have to consult with her psychiatrist about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) years after she underwent hazing by an organization.
The ‘hazing’ included being brought to an “unfamiliar” house of an alumnus; being physically, psychologically, and verbally abused; being fed different substances, and; being forced to perform an act of bestiality.
“These practices must have to be stopped. We will continue fighting for the passage of the ‘Anti-Hazing Act’ in the Senate,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian’s proposed measure, also known as the “Servando Act,” was already approved by the House in June last year and has been transmitted to the Senate, which has yet to pass a counterpart bil
The filing of HB 5760 was triggered by the death of Dela Salle-College of St. Benilde student Guillo Ceasar Servando who died due to hazing in June 2014.
In the meantime, Gatchalian called on UP to identify and probe fraternities, sororities, and student organizations that still promote the culture of hazing and to impose proper penalties not only on the current organization officials and members but also advisers who fail to prevent hazing from occurring.
He also called on UP Diliman authorities to study how it can prevent its alumni from participating in the hazing of neophytes and applicants.
“The responsibility of keeping students safe from hazing rests not only on the students and their parents but also on the universities and colleges where these fraternities, sororities, and student organizations belong to,” Gatchalian emphasized.
Under HB 5760, schools and universities shall have all organizations operating within their grounds registered for the enforcement of the measure.
It also requires community-based groups to register with the barangay or municipality or city where it is primarily based and shall submit a comprehensive list of members and officers which shall be updated yearly from date of registration.
If hazing is held in the house of one of the officers or members of the fraternity, sorority, or organization, the parents shall be held liable as principals when they have actual knowledge of the hazing conducted therein but failed to take any action to prevent the same from occurring or failed to promptly report the same to the law enforcement authorities if he can do so without peril to himself or his family.
School authorities and local government officials who consent to the hazing or who have actual knowledge thereof, but failed to take any action to prevent the same from occurring or failed to promptly report the same to the law enforcement authorities if he can do so without peril to himself or his family shall also be punished as accomplices for the acts of hazing committed by the perpetrators.