Press Release
March 7, 2023

07 March 2023 | Opening Statement - Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights

Ngayon pong umaga mayroon naman tayong diniringin na isang insidente tungkol sa hazing. At the same time, while we are focused here onwhat happened to Mr. Matthew Salilig, correct?

There is also a similar incident which happened in Cebu which is likewise being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation and it has something to do with another hazing incident in Cebu City, the University of Cebu Maritime School regarding the hazing of Mr. a certain Romel Baguio, that's the name of the hazing victim who just died and it also involved the Tau Gamma Fraternity.

So while we are here, again, this committee - we commit the Senate last investigated hazing in 2017 relative to the death of UST Law Student Horacio "Atio" Castillo III in the hands of the fratmen of the UST-based fraternity Aegis Juris Fraternity. Nabago po yung batas. It led to the passage of what we know as Republic Act 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2008.

The current law that we have is stricter than the old anti-hazing law. It prohibited all forms of hazing. It made everyone present at initiation rites punishable by Reclusion Perpetua, whether actually taking part in hazing or not.

Ginawa na po ito ng Senado, ginawa na po ito ng Kongreso and yet we have another incide. Painful for us to begin again, we are gathered here to hear the case of another brutal and senseless death of an Adamson University student, all in the name of quote and quote "acceptance into the brotherhood" end quote.

Through their Facebook page, and clarify this later...we heard the President of Adamson University say that fraternities are banned in their university. However, also through facebook, we see how the Triskelion-Adamson Chapter so freely conducts the activities of their organization within school premises.

So ang tinatanong natin, nasusunod ba ho yung batas na pinasa nung Kongreso sa pamamagitan ng mga authoridad ng mga Universities?

We are then now confronted with this policy consideration. What this committee will do is not conduct a parallel investigation. We laud the police, the PPO of Cavite, Colonel ** is here likewise Colonel ** as well as the National Bureau of Investigation. We are not after that. We will not go into the specifics of what really transpired.

The same is true with the job of the Department of Justice, our prosecutors, hindi po kami mangingi-alam doon. You're doing a good job, you're doing a good job but what we will do in this hearing investigation, and I was requested by the Senate President who delivered the privelege speech concerning this, is to conduct another hearing for him to be present ebcause right now he is out of town. We will abide with the request of the Senate president.

What we will do here is fine-tune the law. Help us craft an amendment that would really give teeth to the law para hindi na po ito maulit. Nag h-heairng pa tayo may nangyari na nga ngayon sa Cebu, diba ho? Ang naiisip ko ngayon simula palang ang naiisip ko ganito: differentiation between schools-based fraternities vis-a-vis community-based organizations conducting initiation should be collapsed.

Kung mayroong initiation, dapat mayroong permit ang LGU, may abiso sa kapulisan, may abiso s a city health or municipal health officer. Iyon ang nakikita ko ngayon habang nag kakape ako kanina iyon kaagad yung dumaplis sa isip ko. Wala nga dito yung kaibigan nating kapitan ng barangay Casile sa Laguna.

So wala naman nagkakaroon ng initiation sa school. Ang initiation, community based. So the line is murky in so far as school-based and organization-based or community-based. But the venue is still in far-flung barangays, yung walang nakakarinig, walang nakakakita.

Last year, last year. So yung mga tanong dito tungkol sa Adamson, tungkol sa - hindi ko po pinepersonal ang Adamson. Wala po akong personal na sama ng loob sa adamson. Malaking tulong po ang Adamson lalong lalo na sa engineering community, malaki po ang naitulong sa ating bansa niyan.

Ang kailangan lang po natin matukoy kung ano po talaga ang responsibilidad ng isang eskuwelahan under that loco parentis doctrine. Is it not the responsibility of educational institutions under RA 11053 to exercise reasonable supervision in loco parentis over the conduct of students? Baka mamaya makita po natin yung mga Facebook pages na very conflicting. Should not the school be more proactive in monitoring the organizations within their premises? Should we impose stricter rules to ensure that no more hazing will be conducted whether in or off campus?

Last year in Washington, USA, a new law was passed, it's called the SAM Law, S-A-M Law in memory of Sam Martinez, a student of the Washington State University who died of hazing (alcohol poisoning after he was made to drink with another pledge half a gallon of rum), was passed which requires, among others, institutions of higher learning to establish a hazing prevention committee and address hazing prevention. It likewise mandates the provision of a hazing prevention education. Pero tayo mayroon tayong orientation e.

Mamaya tatanongin natin ang Adamson. Nagkaroon ba ng orientation? Pag nag orientation tayo sa school, ang orientation andito yung aming library, andito yung aming clinic, andito yung aming security officers kung mayroon kayong problema. Andito yung office of the registrar, andito po yung - andito yung mga classrooms ninyo kung kailangan niyo ng IT Health dito kayo mag papatulong sa computer.

Nagkaroon po ba ng orientation tungkol sa batas na pinagbabawal ang hazing? Itatanong po natin mamaya iyan. Humanda po kayo Attorney sa Adamson.

Doon po sa sinasabi kong batas sa washington, it likewise mandates the provision of a hazing prevention education on the signs and dangers of hazing as well as the institution's prohibition on hazing to employees, including student employees, either in person or virtually. Should we be imposing this in our schools and universities as well?

Ginagawa naman dapat natin sa batas. Hindi ko lang alam kung nangyari dito.

Words cannot express how much the families are grieving now. I'm referring to the family based in Zamboanga and the family based in Cebu right now. Ang alam ko online mamaya ang parents ni Mat-mat sa Zamboanga City.

So to give justice not only to the death of Mat-mat Salilig but the other victims of senseless death due to hazing, the goal of this Committee is to craft a policy and come up again - wala nang katapusang pagbabago natin ng batas my dear colleagues. Tuwing may nangyayari, babaguhin natin ang batas. Ang problema siguro e kung papaanong tamang ipapatupad ang batas.

I-baban na po ba natin ang initiation? Initiation nakalagay sa batas pero nangyayari pa rin ang hazing. Ang Tau Gamma may no contact policy pero nangyayari pa rin ang hazing. I-baban na po ba natin ang initiation o bibigyan po natin, kagaya po ng sinabi ko kanina, ng karapatan na yung mga LGU?

Although mayroon din silang karapatan ngayon doon sa mga community-based organizations na mag padala ng representatives na mag bigay ng approval o disapproval kung ayaw nila matuloy yung initiation.

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