Solutions to hazing?-A A +A
Thursday, August 2, 2012
HAZING, as Wikipedia defines it, is the practice of various rituals and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group. Republic Act 8049 defines hazing as “an initiation or rite or practice as a prerequisite for admission into membership in a fraternity, sorority, or organization by placing the recruit neophyte or applicant in some embarrassing or humiliating situations such as forcing him to do menial, silly, foolish and similar tasks or activities or otherwise subjecting him to physical or psychological suffering or injury.”
RA 8049 was passed in 1995 and is entitled “An Act regulating Hazing and other Forms of Initiation Rites in Fraternities, Sororities, and Organizations and Providing Penalties Therefore.” In this law, the maximum penalty is reclusion perpetua for death, rape, sodomy, mutilation, but reclusion temporal with specified periods are to be the penalties depending upon the degree of the effects to the student neophytes. In short, the penalties for hazing are not so great that the law has never been feared by those committing hazing. Also, the authorities are not that serious in implementing the Law. The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) has been reminding school authorities regarding the occurrence of hazing. However, the memo had been received but nothing concrete had yet been done.
This Act encompasses people who are not directly involved in hazing. The Act clearly defines the parameters. First, when the recruitment is accompanied by force, violence, threat, intimidation or deceit on the person of the recruit who refuses to join. Second, when the recruit, neophyte or applicant initially consents to join but upon learning that hazing will be committed on his person, is prevented from quitting. Third, when the recruit neophyte or applicant having undergone hazing is prevented from reporting the unlawful act to his parents or guardians, to the proper authorities, or to the police through force, violence or intimidation. Fourth, when the hazing is committed outside of the school or institution, or fifth, when victim is below twelve years old at the time of the hazing.
In fact, the owner of the place is considered an accomplice to the crime, especially when he has knowledge of the hazing and has done nothing to stop the occurrence of the criminal event in his place. If the event occurred in the house of one of the officers or members of the fraternity, the parents are also liable as “principals” when proven that they know of the event and failed to stop the occurrence of the act. School authorities and faculty members who consent to the hazing or have the knowledge of the hazing and failed to stop it shall be punished as accomplices.
For others, they argue that hazing had been in existence in many organizations in the country be it civil or military. It has been in the Philippine society even in the primitive times. In the ancient Filipino communities a teen is often initiated to manhood by “tuli” or in more primitive times one is initiated through rigorous physical ordeals and once he successfully endures such, one is accepted as a man of the tribe. But, this could never be used as justification for the act.
Hazing has been declared a criminal act. However, even though it has been declared a crime, still many lives have been claimed. This is why there is a need to change the law and give it fangs to bite the perpetrators.
We could only stop hazing if we make people understand that a true person is one who stands by his principles and not by the strength of the paddle or the loss of life of another. Hazing will only be stopped when the true meaning of fraternity and sorority is understood.
How many lives do we want to lose before we understand the evils of hazing?
St. Ezekiel Moreno, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, Blesseds Pope John Paul II and Pedro Calungsod, and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 02, 2012.