By Mario Casayuran
Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian warned Wednesday hazing perpetrators to change their ways before Senate Bill 1662 (the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018) is signed into law.
‘’Once this bill becomes law, I assure you that you will run out of ways to escape liability for your wrongdoings. So my appeal to you is simple: Put a stop (to hazing) once and for all, before it is too late. You won’t be able to get away with it the next time around.” Gatchalian, co-sponsor of the Senate bill, said.
Since both chambers of Congress have already approved their respective versions of the anti-hazing bill, it was “all but certain” that the final version of the bill would be delivered to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature before the end of the current school year, he pointed out.
Gatchalian described the passage by Congress of the bill as an achievement that anti-hazing advocates have long awaited.
‘’Finally, after years of tireless dedication to the cause, we are so close to implementing meaningful legal reforms which will completely prohibit hazing in all its forms and ensure that those who commit hazing – and anyone who would dare conceal or cover-up their crimes – will be held accountable for their crimes before the courts of law,” he said.
Gatchalian also commended the families of hazing victims, many of whom were in attendance at the Senate for the passage of the Senate bill.
‘’Their strong and courageous voices have had a fundamental impact in shaping this legislation, so that hopefully, no more families will have to go through what they have endured because of hazing,’’ he said.
Senate Bill 1662 is the substitute bill, reported out by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chaired by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, which consolidated several bills, including Senate Bill No. 199 (The Anti-Hazing Act of 2016) filed by Gatchalian as one of his priority bills at the start of the 17th Congress.