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Schools asked to take responsibility to fraternity activities

Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian issued this call to universities and colleges a few days after the death of De La Salle Univerity – College of St. Benilde (DLSU-CSB) student Guillo Cesar Servando due to hazing.

Gatchalian expressed surprise when he found out most schools like College of St. Benilde ask students to sign a waiver ensuring them of zero liability during incidents of fraternity-related violence.

“Parang naghuhugas kamay ang mga schools whenever they require students to sign a waiver not to join fraternities. Hindi dapat ganon. Schools should be held accountable because activities happening inside their campus fall under their jurisdiction,” Gatchalian explained.

In a separate statement, the lawmaker said that while he respects the policy of some universities and colleges prohibiting fraternities and sororities, he thinks it has not solved the problem of hazing-related deaths.

“I think it is high time that universities and colleges reexamine their policy of banning fraternities and sororities in their campuses. The more you ban fraternities, the more they will go underground and conduct their activities sub rosa,” he added.

Gatchalian, member of House committee on Higher and Technical Education, said he is planning to file a new bill to propose new guidelines and put a total ban on hazing activities, citing the inconsistencies present in the Republic Act 8049 or the “Anti-Hazing Law”.

“We call it Anti-Hazing Law, but under that law, hazing is allowed under certain conditions,” Gatchalian explained.

Authorities found Servando’s dead body inside a unit at One Archer’s Place in a 31-story condominium at the corner of Taft Avenue and Castro Street in Manila last Saturday.

With him were his three friends and schoolmates identified by the police as John Paul Raval, 18, the owner of the condo unit; Lorenze Agustin, 18; and a 17-year-old boy.

The Manila Police District (MPD) homicide division said the four victims had hematoma or a mass of blood clot which forms in a tissue, organ, or body space due to a broken blood vessel on their backs and thigh.

On Sunday, DLS-CSB reiterated their stand on the prohibition of fraternities and fraternity-related violence along with their assurance to help the police authorities in investigating the murder of Servando. (Tim Alcantara)