NO TO HAZING
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MANILA, Philippines – Horacio Castillo III, a first-year law student of the University of Santo Tomas, died September 17, 2017, from injuries.His parents believe were sustained in fraternity hazing initiation rites.
He told his parents he would attend a “welcome ceremony” of the fraternity where he is a new member and assured them there would be no be hazing rite.
But he didn't come home the next day.
He was found lying on a pavement, covered with a blanket, in the corner of H. Lopez Boulevard and Infanta Street in Balut, Tondo, Manila at about 7:50 am Sunday, September 17, by John Paul Sarte Solano,a medical technologist who was then buying a cigarette.
John Paul Sarte Solano flagged down vehicles passing by the area to bring the then-unidentified victim to the hospital until a red Strada stopped to help him out.
Horacio Castillo III was then brought to Chinese General Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival at 9:21 am.
On Sunday night, He's parents received an anonymous text, tipping them about their son's whereabouts.
His parents found his remains in a funeral parlor with his body bloated, bruised and had candle and cigarette marks which led his family to believe that he was killed in a hazing rite of fraternity Aegis Juris.
Castillo was promised brotherhood but it was death that he got instead.
He was only 22.
READ: UST law freshman dies in alleged frat hazing
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Castillo’s death has sparked public outrage. Students and faculty members, not limited to the University of Santo Tomas community, condemned the tradition of hazing and the culture of impunity.
His death also brought into focus talks of amending the anti-hazing policy.
The Anti-Hazing Law
Passed in 1995, Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law regulates initiation rites and prohibits physical harm and violence against applicants.
It was the death of Ateneo law student Leonardo Villa in 1991 that resulted in its passage.
The law mandates that no hazing or initiation rites shall be allowed without prior written notice to the school authorities or head of organization seven days before the conduct. At least two representatives of the school or organization must also be present during initiation to ensure that violence will not be employed.
The law also states that “if the person subjected to hazing or other forms of initiation rites suffers any physical injury or dies as a result thereof, the officers and members of the fraternity, sorority or organization who actually participated in the infliction of physical harm shall be liable as principals.”
Life imprisonment will be imposed on individuals involved if initiation rites result in death, rape, sodomy or mutilation.
Since it was enacted under former President Fidel Ramos, several neophytes attempting to join fraternities and sororities have incurred injuries or died in brutal and unregulated initiation rites.
In 22 years, only 1 conviction
While the law is still in place, many of the reported deaths due to hazing since 2000 did not lead to justice for the victim's families.
Over two decade
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