TO become a member of a fraternity group, Vince (real name withheld) said he was struck by a wooden paddle 80 times.

Now, the 18-year-old is the appointed leader of the Tyson fam (current term for gang). He admits that he has seen younger members hit potential recruits with the paddle.

“But even if I scolded them, they wouldn’t listen to me and would continue to hit the others,” Vince said.

Apas Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman and Lahug Barangay Captain Jovito Taborada Jr., together with different stakeholders like the leader of a fraternity group, guidance counselors, and Gender and Development focal point persons, met to discuss diversionary programs for the minors.

“For Vince, since he stopped going to school, we encouraged him to join the alternative learning system program of Barangay Lahug. All members of the fraternity group in Lahug will also be called to a meeting to address this issue,” Ayuman said.

During the Holy Week, nine minors who hail from Lahug were rescued on Veteran’s Drive in Barangay Apas after they violated the curfew and were discovered to be smoking marijuana.

Also seized were two wooden paddles, believed to be used by members for initiation.

Through Vince’s statements, barangay officials identified three fams in Lahug and three inactive ones in Apas, believed to be unauthorized offshoots under the main fraternity group.

However, representatives from the fraternity group in question assured that they will act on the reports to prevent minors from being victims of alleged hazing.

“They will be subjected to counseling so that they won’t repeat the wrongdoings that they have committed. At least we will guide them and control what they do,” said a representative from the fraternity group, which requested not to be named.