Press Release
September 26, 2017


Following the fatal hazing of University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio Castillo, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called on school administrations to improve their risk management capabilities to eliminate hazing and other forms of violence and abuse from fraternities.

Hontiveros said that schools should be pro-active in investigating and addressing "under the radar" cases of violence before they escalate into an incident wherein a student is seriously injured or worse, killed.

The Senator also urged schools to be on the lookout for cases of fraternity-related sexual assault and/or harassment.

"Madaling mag-imbestiga or even crack down on erring fraternities when somebody's already severely hurt or killed. Schools must be vigilant in monitoring patterns of violence and abuse that might lead to greater harm," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros also called on schools to recognize all legitimate fraternities so they can be easily subjected to school regulations and "remove the shroud of secrecy surrounding their initiation rites."

"Fraternities are not bad per se. Many are established to promote the principles of excellence, leadership, friendship & service. In fact, the revolutionary Katipunan was organized along fraternal lines. What we need to eliminate is the culture of violence, abuse & impunity that is embedded in many fraternities," Hontiveros explained.

The Senator also wants to revise the country's Anti-hazing Law by pushing for an amendment calling for a total ban against all forms of hazing.

"The letter and spirit of the existing law doesn't explicitly ban hazing. It is wishy-washy on the said practice. In fact, it recognizes the violent practice as long as the organization performing the hazing rites has sent a written notice to the school administration," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros also called for a revision of Section 4 of the law which penalizes the inflicting of physical injuries arising from hazing. "Hazing is not only physical abuse but any form of initiation that subjects the neophytes or pledgees to undignified and inhumane situations, including mental and psychological stressors that may have adverse impacts on the mental health of the abused," she said.

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