High school student dies from hazing in Bulacan

Jee Y. Geronimo

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

High school student dies from hazing in Bulacan
Valenzuela Representative Sherwin Gatchalian urges Senate to fast-track its version of a stricter anti-hazing bill

MANILA, Philippines – A 14-year old student from Bulacan died after a hazing incident on Wednesday, June 24.

Christian dela Cruz, a Grade 8 student of Fortunato Halili National Agricultural School, died due to extreme swelling of the right abdomen and liver damage, according to a newspaper report.

Police authorities are already looking for Dela Cruz’s schoolmates – all of whom are also minors – believed to have conducted the hazing ritual.

The incident was cited by Valenzuela City 1st District Representative Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday, June 25, when he called on the Senate to pass its own version of House Bill 5760, which seeks to repeal Republic Act 8049 or the anti-hazing law.

The current law only regulates hazing conducted by fraternities, sororities, and other organizations, while Gatchalian’s bill – was approved by the Lower House on third reading last June 2 and transmitted to the Senate on June 4 – prohibits all forms of hazing. 

“It’s very alarming that fraternities, which are usually operating in colleges and universities, are also now present in the elementary level. What’s even more disturbing is that these minors are not afraid that they might hurt or even kill somebody,” Gatchalian, the principal author of the House bill, said in a statement.

Current law ‘not effective’ 

The incident in Bulacan came just days before the first death anniversary of De La Salle-College of St Benilde student Guillo Cesar Servando, who died on June 28, 2014, after going through the initiation rites of fraternity Tau Gamma Phi.

In between Servando and Dela Cruz’s deaths, Gatchalian said, two other students died due to hazing: Ariel Inofre and John Kurt Inventor.

With the proposed bill, all school-based organizations are required to register before they can go ahead with any of their activities, whether on- or off-campus.

Community-based groups will also have to register with their local government unit – whether barangay, municipality, or city.

The proposed bill imposes a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of P3 million if the hazing resulted to death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation.

The following persons will also be held liable:

  • Owner of the place where hazing is conducted, if he/she has actual knowledge of the incident
  • School authorities, local government officials who give consent to the hazing or have actual knowledge of it but failed to take preventive action
  • Members of the organization who are not present during the hazing but part of its planning
  • Any person present during the hazing, unless he prevented the hazing or reported it to authorities
  • The incumbent officers of the organization shall be jointly liable with those members who actually participated in the hazing

“Clearly, the current law is not effective in preventing abuses during initiation rites which results to serious injuries, or worse, deaths,” Gatchalian said.

He hopes senators will see the wisdom of HB 5760 and fast-track a counterpart measure before another life is lost to hazing.  Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.