AN OFFICIAL of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Friday, October 4, called for an end to the practice of hazing in the country, especially in learning institutions, saying such actions cannot be a measuring stick for "brotherly love".
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Seminaries (ECS) chairman, said in a statement that there is a need to stop the the "violent and illegal practice" of hazing as it has never proven to have helped develop fraternity.
"Hazing should never be part of a formative process, be it physical or psychological. Fraternity hazing must not be condoned as a method to prove the commitment of a person in a group or in a society," said Alminaza.
"Hazing can never be a test of brotherly love," he added.
Instead, the prelate said educational institutions must be more conducive to embracing the culture of life, rather than the culture of violence and death.
"Let our schools be homes of peace, be spaces of love. Let us teach peace, let us learn non-violence.
The way to peace is non-violence, compassion, and love," said Alminaza.
The statement was issued in the wake of the death of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet Darwin Dormitorio due to hazing at the hands of his fellow cadets.
Alminaza said the PMA, in particular, needs to address the practices of hazing in its institution in order to prevent senseless deaths, such as Dormitorio's.
"Whether upperclassmen retaliation or initiation through hazing, these secret practices should end within the premier military training institution of our country," he stressed.
Alminaza said this is because allowing such practices to persist can have a much larger effect in the society in the future.
"Such violent culture will inevitably breed military leaders that take pleasure in barbaric operations and illegal practices," he said.
"Such culture affects our government structures as military people are appointed or elected to high government positions," Alminaza added. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)