By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The Senate has ratified today the Congress’ reconciled version of the measure that provides harsher penalties for hazing.
The Upper Chamber unanimously adopted and ratified the Congress bicameral committee’s 17-page report on the proposed law which would amend the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995 (Republic Act 8049) to totally ban hazing as well as penalize those who attempt to cover up those involved.
Once ratified by the House of Representatives, the measure will then be forwarded to President Duterte for his signature.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate panel in the bicameral committee, earlier said the reconciled version of Senate Bill 1662 and House Bill 6573 strengthens the penalties for those who will be convicted of committing or covering up hazing.
Penalties were also raised for officers and member who witnessed hazing although they did not participate.
Moves to amend RA 8049 floated following the public outrage on the death of freshman law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III in an alleged hazing rites by his fraternity Aegis Juris in September last year. The Department of Justice has also filed cases against 10 members of the Aegis Juris.