Senator Vicente Sotto III has remarked at the continued necessity for the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs to set public hearings on his proposal for life imprisonments to be imposed on members of fraternities and sororities that engage in violent hazing activities.
Senate Bill 97, the bill in question which Sotto has already filed, has not been read since it was first referred to the committee last year.
“We have to stop this violence on our children. Our educational institutions should be beacons of hope, not of death. We cannot allow another death,” Sotto said, referencing the brutal death of 18-year-old De La Salle-College of St. Benilde student Guillo Servando, which took place a few weeks prior to his statements.
Sotto also went on further, stating that these events of hazing are inhumane and the death related incidents are a waste of young and promising lives.
With this in mind, Sotto has been pushing for life sentences to be imposed on those who have been found to have participated in hazing-related activities of any form.
“This is a senseless brutal initiation rite that has claimed a number of young and promising lives. It is a barbaric act that has no place in modern society,” Sotto said.
Current Anti-Hazing Laws only impose life imprisonment “if death, rape, sodomy and mutilation” occur during initiation rites, however Sotto is pushing for even harsher penalties depending on the circumstances and condition of the victim, which may have been affected by hazing related incidents different from those that already warrant life imprisonment.
The worrying increase in the number of hazing related incidents has prompted the need to review the issue and impose higher penalties, according to Sotto, and that despite the original enactment of the law in 1995 there have still been numerous reports of death and injuries due to hazing activities.