Approved on June 29, Republic Act 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 amended Republic Act 8049, which already provided for a prison term of reclusion perpetua—20 to 40 years in prison—for hazing rites that would result in death.
The old law was passed in 1995 a few years after the fatal hazing of Aquila Legis Fraternity neophyte Lenny Villa.
The new law was crafted amid the public outcry over the death of Aegis Juris Fraternity neophyte Horacio Castillo III in 2017.
The new law banned all forms of hazing as requirement for admission into membership of a fraternity, sorority or organization in schools and uniformed service learning institutions such as the Philippine Military Academy and Philippine National Police Academy.
Considered acts of hazing under the new law are paddling, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of food, liquor, beverage, drug and other substance as well as any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which would likely adverse the physical and psychological health of the recruit, member, neophyte or applicant.
Only initiation rites that do not constitute hazing shall be allowed provided that fraternities, sororities and organizations must submit and post a written application to the proper school authorities of their initiation rite detailing the activity not later than seven days prior to the scheduled activity.
The school authorities, meanwhile, should send two representatives to monitor, record and report what happened during the initiation rites.
RA 11053 requires the appointment and identification of advisers who will be presumed to have knowledge and consent to the commission on any unlawful act stated in the law.
Members of the fraternity, sorority or organization who participated in the hazing under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs would be fined P2 million and would suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
The same penalty would be imposed on former officers and non-resident or alumni members of the fraternity, sorority or organization who actually participated in the hazing.
Former officers or alumni with professional licenses would also be subjected to disciplinary proceedings either before the Supreme Court or the Professional Regulation Commission.
The school would be fined P1 million if officials would fail to prevent hazing from occurring during initiation rites.
The law also said the owner or lessee where hazing is conducted would be held liable.
The different government agencies led by the Commission on Higher Education have 90 days from effectivity of the law to issue the implementing rules and regulations.
WATCH | Pres. Duterte signs law, fatal hazing now punishable by up to 40 years in prison, P3-M fine
4/ 5Oleh BNP Correspondent