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Unveiling the Truth in

The Anti-Hazing Law

Allyson Cai B. Batalla
Andrea Nicole C. Pallera
De La Salle University Manila
BS in Legal Management December 3, 2014

Despite the existence of the Anti-Hazing Law, there have been numerous deaths
accounted for a long period of time. Fraternity-related violence has been proliferating for more
than a decade. In fact, out of these numerous deaths, most of the victims are still crying for
justice; justice that was never given to them. The practice and violent initiation rites remained
prevalent; because fraternities are continuing to live by the practices and culture of hazing and
fraternity-related violence. Indeed, the mere fact that violent initiation rites have been prevailing;
hazing has developed a culture of violence (David, 2012).
Furthermore, the culture of violence among fraternities has been due to different factors.
First, mob mentality of young, brash and thrill seeking students. In fact, students, college
students in particular have the tendency to become more curious and adventurous about things. It
makes them more prone to danger at that point in their lives; as a result, they are most likely the
ones involved in fraternity-related violence. Hence, the behavior of these students can be
associated with mob mentality. This describes how they are influenced by their peers to adopt
certain behaviors, follow trends, and act according to what is dictated upon them. Even though, it
is hazardous, students are still engaging in these activities. Second, pressure from alumni
members. In light with mob mentality, another factor would have to be pressure. Peer pressure
plays a big role in the decision of these students. In some cases, neophytes are subjected to
hazing or fraternity-related violence just because they are forced to do so. For some reason,
neophytes are simply accepting it because of peer pressure. The mentality is that at some point
they will be able to do the same thing as they progress in the fraternity. As a result, the cycle
simply repeats itself. Hence, fraternity-related violence proliferates. Third, authorities are
tolerating fraternity-related violence. In fact, most of the time people in authority are members of
fraternities themselves. This has been one of the driving factors which increase fraternity-related

violence. For instance, some cases are being acquitted because the judge himself is a member of
the fraternity involved. Somehow, the case is being dismissed in lieu of sympathy and
brotherhood (J. Gonzales, personal communication, October 31, 2014). Lastly, misplaced notion
of acceptance into brotherhood is through initiation. There are deep seated traditions of hazing
within fraternities. One of which is the practice of initiation rites or hazing. Fraternities believe
that in order to ensure loyalty, there should be a form of pain inflicted upon the member. Among
these fraternities, most of them impose initiation to formally welcome the potential member in
the organization. Although, it is very hazardous because in this sense lives are being risked
which is the crucial part (M. Lipardo, personal communication, October 31, 2014).
Along with the proliferating cases of fraternity related violence, insufficient imposition of
punishments rendered by the court is also an evident issue against the Anti-Hazing Law. The law is
only made applicable if somebody got killed in a hazing incident, that's the only time they will use
the law again (A. Ligon, personal communication, October 29, 2014). Also, the law itself cannot
guarantee convictions. To make it worse, eyewitnesses themselves initiates to a fraternity, seldom
file complaints or recant their testimonies (M. Lipardo, personal communication, October 31, 2014).
To point out, most fraternity members are unaware on the imposed penalties by the AntiHazing Law. Republic Act 8049 states that a mulct of imprisonment correctional or 4 to 6 years of
imprisonment or due until the longest period allowed shall be imposed to the person or persons
liable subject to the victim who suffered from physical injury even though it does not preclude them
from doing habitual activity and also not requiring for a medical attendance. This penalty is
definitely obscure and cryptic especially for the victims of hazing and other related violent activities
within fraternities, sororities, and other organizations for they are only aware of the penalty
reclusion perpetua or 20 to 40 years of imprisonment if death, rape, sodomy or mutilation results

(n.d.). By the same token, this is a factor why hazing is tolerable for the victims and for the
fraternity members involved.
In addition, RA 8049 allows hazing activities in schools under certain conditions, such as a
written notice to the school authorities a week before it is to be held, and the assignment of two
school representatives during the initiation. Besides fraternity leaders and members responsible for
the actual hazing, the law penalizes school authorities, including faculty members, who consent to
the hazing or who have actual knowledge thereof, but failed to take any action, as accomplices to
the crime. Those were the given constraints for educational institutions to be subjected liable in
these instances (n.d.). But in a statement, the legislators have observed that whenever there are
incidents of violent hazing involving their students, the standard reply of school administrators is
that they prohibit fraternities and they discourage students from joining such groups. This is a chain
reaction of most administrative authorities of involved institutions whenever there are hazing cases.
Educational institutions should be the ones held accountable when neophytes suffer physical harm
or death from hazing as per suggested by Representative Gatchalian in his proposed House Bill
4714. Under the proposed measure as cited by Nalzaro (2014), educational institutions are required
to have all organizations registered for the enforcement of the proposed law, which means that it
would no longer be possible for colleges and universities to shirk responsibility whenever someone
dies or injured during initiation rites of fraternities. Furthermore, this would address inadequacy in
terms of penalties and sanctions as to who should be liable in fraternity related violence cases.