Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) Congressman Win Gatchalian has asked the Senate to prioritize the passage of a counterpart bill to his proposed “Anti-Hazing Act of 2015” to stop the increasing number of students being killed senselessly from initiation rites of fraternities and similar organizations.
Gatchalian issued the call in the wake of another case of fatal hazing involving a 26-year-old student of St. Luke’s Institute in Kabacan, North Cotabato named Bobong Bualan. He died after undergoing initiation rites by members of Tau Gamma Phi Sigma Fraternity based in the University of Southern Mindanao.
“Even after the well-publicized death of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde student Guillo Servando last year, the long list of dead hazing victims continue,” said Gatchalian, a majority member of the House committee on higher and technical education.
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Gatchalian is the author of House Bill No. 5760, which seeks to repeal Republic Act No. 8094 or the “Anti-Hazing Law of 1995.” It has already been approved by the House on third reading and was transmitted to the Senate last June.
“How many more Guillo Servando’s should die before the Senate green-lights a counterpart measure to the ‘Anti-Hazing Act of 2015’?” Gatchalian asked. “Imagine what these young victims would have contributed to the society if not for their untimely deaths.”
Bualan is just one of the many victims who died from hazing after the death of Guillo Servando in June last year. Before Bualan’s untimely demise came the reported deaths of Anthony Javier, 18; Christian dela Cruz, 14; Ariel Enopre, 24, and; John Kurt Inventor, 15 .
Gatchalian emphasized that the Senate committees on public order and on justice and human rights should prioritize the pending anti-hazing bills when session resumes on Nov. 3.
“The concerned primary and secondary committees should immediately take up the anti-hazing bills by Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and Sen. Loren Legarda to make sure there is still time for it to be approved in the plenary,” said Gatchalian.
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The Valenzuela City lawmaker was referring to Senate Bills No. 2868 and 2912 filed by the said senators. Both measures prohibit hazing and regulate other forms of initiation rites by fraternities, sororities, and other organizations. (Monica Cantilero)