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Gatchalian seeks stiffer penalties vs hazing violence

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Senator Win Gatchalian has renewed his call to repeal the 22-year old Republic Act No. 8049, otherwise known as the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995 amid the death of another student due to hazing.

He also called on the leadership of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) to seek justice for Horacio Tomas “Atyo” Castillo III, a 22-year-old freshman law student who was allegedly killed during the initiation rites of a university-recognized fraternity.

Gatchalian’s proposed replacement measure, Senate Bill 199, would repeal RA 8049 to institute a more comprehensive anti-hazing regime by providing a more prohibitive definition of hazing.

“It’s time for the Senate to take up this proposed legislation,” Gatchalian said.

SB 199 intends to “expand” the scope of liabilities and increasing the penalties for hazing offenders, and mandating educational institutions to play a central role in hazing prevention and awareness.

“The Anti-Hazing Law must be overhauled to eliminate loop holes and ensure that all persons responsible for these cruel and senseless hazing deaths will be held accountable to the full extent of the law,” he said.

Castillo was found dead along a street in Manila on Sunday, a day after he told his parents he would be attending the overnight “welcoming rites” of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, a law-based fraternity duly accredited by UST. His body was found covered in bruises and candle wax drip marks.