August Ceazar Saplot, 19 years old and a student of the University of Mindanao in Davao City, asked permission from his parents to finish a project at the Buhangin Gym.

However, he was not there to do a project. Rather, he was there to partake in the initiation rites of the fraternity he is joining.

Hazing is deeply associated with sororities and fraternities. It is usually part of the "college experience" if you ever find yourself joining a sorority or fraternity.

Section 1 of Republic Act No. 8049, also known as the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995, defines hazing as "an initiation 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 other similar tasks or activities or otherwise subjecting him to physical or psychological suffering or injury."

Sadly, things didn't turn out well for Saplot.

His body would later be found at Purok Sto. Nino, Sison Village, Upper Mandug, Buhangin, Davao City after the Mandug Police Station responded to a phone call regarding an unidentified dead body found in the area.

Aside from Saplot, another pledgee was seriously injured. Both of them were pledges of the Alpha Kappa Rho (Akhro) Alpha Delta Chapter fraternity.

The incident would lead to the arrest of eight individuals and the investigation of six other suspects “who immediately fled” after the hazing incident was reported to the police.

The University of Mindanao condemned the recent incident.

"The AKRHO Alpha Delta fraternity IS NOT a recognized organization in the university, including all their illegal activities and roster of membership. The hazing incident also happened outside of the campus premises of the university...However, since they are students at the university, they bring disrepute to the name of the institution. The perpetrators disrespected the president’s strict instructions against hazing inside or outside the university,” the university said on September 19, 2022.

Saplot's mother, Regina, said her son was subjected to intense physical activities.

She said it was shared with her by the survivor and investigators that her son received five blows, slaps, Indian-pass, paddle, and belting; all happening in an hour

“Ang akoa daw’ng anak pagkahuman daw og initiation, gipapahulay lang daw sila og kadali, pagkahuman gipabaktas laliman kag 500 meters to 800 meters ang gibaktas (He said that my son was only given a short time to rest after the initiation, then they were told to walk for 500 meters to 800 meters),” Regina said.

She said the survivor told their brothers that her son can’t walk properly due to the injury he had sustained.

“Kabalo ka unsay gitubag? ‘Sagdii na siya kay nag-inarte na lang na siya, wala ka nagku-an nga ikaw payat ka nga nakaya gani nimo, siya nga tambok dili niya makaya?’ (Did you know what they said? Let him be as he is just acting up. You survived even though you are thin, he will survive even if he is fat),” Regina said.

While hazing has been a tradition among fraternities and sororities as a rite of passage for new members, there has to be some discipline in implementing these. These organizations, especially the members, have to know when things are about to go too far. They have to stop before things go out of control.

In this recent case of hazing, it may have seemingly gotten out of control. It has ended what could be a fruitful and meaningful life for one while seriously injuring another.

Fraternities and sororities will have to tone it down or come up with passage rites that won't end the life of a young man or woman. Better, find a different rite of passage for the new members.