De Lima heads task force on frat hazing

Natashya Gutierrez
De Lima heads task force on frat hazing
The interagency body is tasked to study how the Anti-Hazing Law can be improved and to ensure justice for victims and their families

MANILA, Philippines – In response to two consecutive hazing incidents last June and July that led to the death of a college student, the government formed a task force aimed at ensuring justice for hazing victims and their families, as well as strengthening the Anti-Hazing Law.

On Monday, September 1, Malacañang announced the signing of a memorandum circular on August 28 to create an interagency task force.

“President Aquino shares the concern of many parents and educators over the violations of the Anti-Hazing Law,” Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr said in a statement.

DRAGGED. This CCTV footage shows one of the victims of a hazing incident being dragged along the corridors of a condominium in Manila. Photo by Jose Del/Rappler

“The task force seeks to address the need to ensure that there is justice for hazing fatalities and their families. At the same time, we have to look at whether the law can be improved so that its objectives are met.”

The task force’s duty and leadership will be as follows:

  • It will be led by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who has full executive authority to carry out the task force’s functions
  • Direct instructions may be given to member agencies, namely the Departments of National Defense and the Interior and Local Government, the Commission on Higher Education, the Philippine National Police, the National Youth Commission and the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs
  • The task force is assigned to review the 1995 Anti-Hazing Law to see how it can avoid fraternity violence
  • It must formulate ways to monitor the implementation of programs, project and guidelines to prevent deaths from hazing
  • It must submit a periodic report to the Office of the President

The memorandum circular is effective immediately.

Public clamor for a stronger law against fraternity violence was spurred by the death from hazing of 18-year-old Guillo Cesar Servando, a St. Benilde College sophomore. Less than a week after, the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City, confirfmed reports that another “fraternity incident” hurt one of its students.

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