MAKATI City, Sept. 27, 2012?Hazing-related deaths would have been prevented if only there was a full implementation of anti-hazing law, a young lawyer said.
Willingness to implement the law is key to preventing more hazing-related deaths, not looking for loopholes in the Anti-hazing law, Ateneo de Manila Law professor Atty. Jemy Gatdula said in an interview.
“I think the issue is really with the implementation and being able to fully apply the law and that justice is actually served,” he said.
Gatdula explained every law is flawed, so to speak and could be considerably improved, but the issue of hazing-related deaths like that of San Beda Law freshman Marc Andre Marcos is obviously a question of political will in applying the law.
According to Gatdula, a good number of law enforcers and government officials are themselves members of fraternities, which makes prosecuting hazing cases like Marcos’ a thorny and challenging exercise.
“So people know each other. It’s good because we have some feeling of community with each other. [But] it prevents us from fully implementing the law against someone we know,” Gatdula, who lost a law school classmate to hazing, explained how the fraternity system affects the justice system.
After news of Marcos’ death last July, legislators were quick to call for a review of Republic Act 8094 or the Anti-Hazing Law for possible amendments.
Kabataan Party list Representative Raymond Palatino, for example, pointed to several “weak points” in RA 8094, namely, the exclusion of community fraternities and sororities from the law’s mandate, as well as the non-classification of regular training practices of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police as hazing.
There have also been discussions about revising the law for a total ban on hazing activities.
Recently, criminal charges have been filed against 32 members of the Lex Leonum Fraternitas (LLF) for the hazing-related death of Marcos. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]