University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student Horacio Tomas Castillo, III was the latest victim of gruesome hazing in the country that led to his death. Similar to previous years, an outpour of outrage happen every after a fatal hazing incident. And as usual the outrage died a natural death. Castillo’s death reminds anew the obliteration instead of brotherhood which fraternities or sororities give especially to incoming members or neophytes in the process of initiation. Similar incidents occur despite the existing Anti-Hazing Law in the country which means, the law is not effective at all.
Records show that since the law was enacted in 1995, hazing victims posted at 207 of which 12 died and scores severely injured, some paralyzed. Sadly of the 393 suspects, only 15 were jailed. What has happened to the law? Officials said such law is harsh, but despite its harshness, still, fatal hazing practices continue to happen, with most of the victims are the young. Some officials say the Anti-Hazing Law embodies tough penalties to suspects. But how come, the very few number of convictions? Perhaps, the problem lies on the sluggish implementation of the law. For it was strictly enforced, no doubt notorious fratmen will be minimized or eradicated.
The laxity of schools is another factor that contributes to the continuing injuries and deaths during initiations. Schools have been maintaining that the issue of brotherhood organizations and initiations are not part of school activities, thus, they are not privy to the corresponding consequences, sort of saying they don’t care. This is one principle of schools that should be strictly corrected as they are duty bound to look after the welfare of their enrollees. Though it is acceptable that brotherhood and sisterhood are beyond the parameters of schools, at least schools should impose strict policies to discourage students from engaging into these kinds of organizations. For the government, given the numerous tragic incidents of hazing, it’s high time hazing or fraternities should be prohibited , after all the Anti-Hazing Law is pointless. Deaths of this kind need to stop.