SENATE Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday urged the government to strictly enforce the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 against members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity from Kalayaan, Laguna, which is coming under fire for the death of an 18-year-old student, after allegedly undergoing hazing.
“It is absolutely infuriating how some fraternities are still upholding these barbaric hazing rituals,” Zubiri said.
“Walang puso. That kind of violence is not brotherhood. That’s torture, and everyone with a hand in it has blood on their hands and should rot behind bars,” he added.
The victim, identified as Reymarc Rabutazo, was found drowned in a river with bruises on his legs.
In 2018, Zubiri authored the strengthened Anti-Hazing Law in the wake of the death of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, a freshman law student at the University of Santo Tomas.
The new Anti-Hazing Act mandates stronger penalties against perpetrators of hazing, including reclusion perpetua and a fine of P3 million.
The new law also prohibits any form of hazing or violence to an applicant, whether physical or psychological, in any fraternity, sorority, or similar organization. Universities also face penalties should they fail to monitor initiation rites.
Zubiri dedicated the law to Castillo.
“After Atio, pinalakas talaga namin ang Anti-Hazing Act para hindi maulit ang ganitong karahasan. Wala na dapat ang mga ganitong klaseng initiation rites,” he said.
“So many young people have already died from hazing, and so many families have been upturned by their loss. And what’s worse is that their deaths have been so completely senseless. These are kids looking for brotherhood and friendship, and this is what they get in return?” Zubiri further said.
“Lalong nakakagalit itong pagkamatay ni Reymarc kasi, pagkatapos ng pagkamatay nina Atio at Darwin Dormitorio, parang hindi pa natatauhan ang mga ganitong organisasyon. Dapat talagang maparusahan sila–to serve justice, and to serve as a loud reminder that the law works, and no one can get away with this kind of violence ever again,” the lawmaker stressed