MANILA, Philippines (29-Feb-12) – As calls for justice grow louder following the death of San Beda law student Marvin Reglos allegedly due to hazing, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino on Monday filed House Resolution 2188 which seeks a House investigation on Reglos’ death and a review of RA 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law.
“The sadness, regret and anger over the untimely and brutal death of Marvin Reglos fuel the collective call for speedy justice. The incident likewise necessitates that we thoroughly review the Anti-Hazing Law for possible amendments given the continuation of hazing as a practice in some student organizations and the apparent lack of any prosecuted violator since the law’s passage,” Palatino said.
Palatino said that since that passage of RA 8049 in 1991, incited by the death of Leni Villa, then a student of the Ateneo de Manila School of Law, not one conviction was fulfilled under the said law.
He added that hazing activities have continued in the past two decades which resulted in numerous fatalities such as the deaths of UP students Alex Icasiano and Cris Mendez, among others.
With the recent death of Reglos, due to alleged hazing under the hands of Lambda Rho Beta fraternity, an underground yet well-known law fraternity based in San Beda College of Law, Palatino said that it is incumbent upon lawmakers and law enforcers to ensure that those responsible will not be able to escape justice.
“Failure to exact justice for Marvin is failure to combat impunity in the country. The government must not grant an ounce of leniency towards patriarchal, barbaric and macho violence and aggression,” Palatino said.
While adamant against hazing, Palatino however raised concerns over an existing policy of many schools, for fear of legal accountability upon violations of RA 8049, to simply ban fraternities and many other student organizations. The youth solon stressed that while hazing and its various forms are outlawed, the constitutional right to self-organization is not.
Palatino also said that fraternities and sororities must remove hazing as a form of initiation rite and that they must remain faithful to their progressive history and orientation, which commonly adhere to the ideals of service to the people.
“Fraternities, sororities, and other student organization must shun violence and instead focus on continuing the tradition of excellence and service which they should be known for. We urge them to channel their efforts to more pressing concerns in and out of the campus. They must unite against a violent social system that breeds human rights violations, poverty, and other injustices — not contribute to its reproduction,” Palatino said.
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