MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday has sent a warning to hazing perpetrators to stop their activities as Senate already approved Senate Bill No. 1662 otherwise known as the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018.
“Once this bill becomes law, I assure you that you will run out of ways to escape liability for your wrongdoings. So my appeal to you is simple: Put a stop [to hazing] once and for all, before it is too late. You won’t be able to get away with it the next time around,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
Earlier, the Senate, voting 19-0, has ratified on third and final reading a measure that seeks to ban hazing as a requisite for admission into fraternities or sororities.
The bill also seeks to amend Republic Act No. 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law that aims to toughen the current legislation and regulate other forms of initiation rites.
On January 22, the House approved its version of the bill.
Gatchalian added that it was “all but certain” that the final version of the anti-hazing bill would be delivered to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature before the end of the current school year since that since Congress has already approved their respective versions of the bill.
“This is an achievement that anti-hazing advocates have long awaited,” the senator said.
“Finally, after years of tireless dedication to the cause, we are so close to implementing meaningful legal reforms which will completely prohibit hazing in all its forms and ensure that those who commit hazing – and anyone who would dare conceal or cover-up their crimes – will be held accountable for their crimes before the courts of law,” he added.
Gatchalian also lauded the efforts of the families of the hazing victims on the passage of the bill.
“[Their] strong and courageous voices have had a fundamental impact in shaping this legislation so that hopefully, no more families will have to go through what they have endured because of hazing,” the senator said.
The hazing death of University of Santo Tomas (UST) College of Law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo in the hands of Aegis Juris Fraternity members on September 2017 prompted the filing of the said measure.