Press Release
September 3, 2007


Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago today filed Senate Resolution No. 112 calling for a legislative investigation on the death of Cris Anthony Mendez, a student of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Authorities have confirmed today that Mendez died due to hazing-related injuries.

"As a mother who has also lost her son, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the mother of Cris Anthony," she said. "I know how difficult it is to lose a son."

Santiago said Republic Act No. 8049, or the Anti-Hazing Law, must undergo a comprehensive review because it has failed to serve as a deterrent to hazing within fraternities, sororities, and student organizations since its enactment.

The senator also wants those responsible for Mendez's death to be prosecuted and punished.

Under the Anti-Hazing Law, if a person dies due to hazing, the officers and members of the fraternity, sorority, or organization who actually participated in the infliction of physical harm shall be liable as principals and shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

The presence of any person during the hazing is prima facie evidence of participation in the hazing as a principal unless he or she prevented the commission of the hazing acts.

According to Santiago, UP officials must shed light on the anti-hazing measures it has implemented in the University.

"The UP administration must explain the measures it has taken to monitor the hazing or initiation rites of fraternities, sororities, and other student organizations within the University, given the duty imposed by the Anti-Hazing Law on school authorities," Santiago said.

Under the Anti-Hazing Law, no hazing or initiation rites in any form by a fraternity, sorority or organization shall be allowed without prior written notice to the school authorities or head of organization seven days before the conduct of such initiation. The written notice shall indicate the period of the initiation activities which shall not exceed three days, and shall include the names of those to be subjected to such activities. The written notice must also contain an undertaking that no physical violence be employed by anybody during such initiation rites.

The law further mandates that the head of the school must assign at least two representatives to be present during the initiation. It is the duty of the representatives to see to it that no physical harm of any kind shall be inflicted upon a recruit or a neophyte.

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