Senator Panfilo Lacson has expressed hope that there would be no more repeat of the hazing death of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III in September 2017 after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11053, which imposes penalties such as reclusion perpetua and up to P3 million in fines against those who engage in hazing.
The measure was sponsored by Lacson to prevent hazing deaths with harsher penalties being imposed.
The heavier punishments stemmed following the hearings conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chaired by Lacson.
Lacson’s committee found that Castillo died while undergoing hazing rites by the Aegis Juris fraternity based at the University of Santo Tomas, with several fraternity members trying to cover up Castillo’s death.
The investigation also showed the school was lax in observing the anti-hazing law.
Under the new law, the definition of hazing has been expanded to include “physical or psychological suffering, harm or injury inflicted on a recruit, member, neophyte, or applicant” as a prerequisite for admission or for continued membership in an organization.