CO-SPONSORSHIP SPEECH: Anti-Hazing Act of 2018

CO-SPONSORSHIP SPEECH: Anti-Hazing Act of 2018

Co-Sponsorship Speech

Senate Bill No. 1662 / Committee Report No. 233


January 24, 2018 at 3 o’clock in the afternoon

Session Hall, Senate of the Philippines, Pasay City


Delivered by HON. WIN GATCHALIAN, Senator of the Republic:


Mr. President, esteemed peers in the Senate, good afternoon to you all.

Four years ago, when I was then still a member of the House of Representatives, the tragic murder of Guillo Servando at the hands of his fraternity brothers-to-be shocked the nation and inspired the lower chamber of Congress to take decisive action against the despicable evil of hazing. The bill I filed to answer this call-to-action, House Bill No. 5760, eventually passed the House in June 2015. Unfortunately, the Senate was not able to act on the measure, and the proposed reforms to the Anti-Hazing Law were left on the table when the 16th Congress came to a close two years later.

I am overcome with a sad sense of déjà vu as I stand here today to sponsor Senate Bill No. 1662, the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, because history has repeated itself once more. Yet another innocent and promising young man, Atio Castillo, has lost his life during brutal hazing rites conducted by his fraternity brothers-to-be, and the people demand action from their representatives in Congress.

With the passage of the lower chamber’s proposed amendments to the Anti-Hazing Law earlier this week, the ball is once again in the Senate’s court. I applaud our distinguished colleague, Senator Ping Lacson, for acknowledging the urgency of this measure and taking swift action to get this substitute bill on the floor.

The horrifying facts surrounding the death of Atio Castillo, and the subsequent cover up by members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, make it clear that there are glaring loopholes in Republic Act No. 8049, the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995, which need to be closed. These issues are well-covered by this bill, which includes provisions that establish clear-cut responsibilities and liabilities of educational institutions in preventing and policing hazing, and severely punish resident and alumni members of fraternities who would dare attempt to frustrate the ends of justice by covering up the hazing crimes committed by their brothers. Most importantly, this bill changes the central paradigm of the law – instead of regulating hazing it will completely prohibit all forms of hazing, once and for all.

Mr. President, this bill is written in the blood of Atio, Guillo, and all of the other promising young Filipinos who have lost their lives to the senseless crime of hazing. I urge the esteemed members of this chamber to rally behind the swift passage of Senate Bill No. 1662, so that no more blood will be shed in the pursuit of brotherhood. We must not allow history to repeat itself once more.

Thank you.