Former UST rector condemns hazing following death of UST law freshman

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Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P.

Former UST rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. has condemned the violent initiation rites of college fraternities following last week’s death of UST law freshman Horacio Castillo III.

In his opinion column published on the Sept. 23 issue of the Manila Bulletin, de la Rosa said physical violence inflicted on fraternity recruits does not equate to brotherhood.

“More often than not, though, what hazing creates in frat members is not solidarity and brotherhood, but the desire to get even,” he said.

“Hazing promotes a warped sense of brotherhood based on fear and an obsession for power and control,” de la Rosa, a former Witness (religion) editor of the Varsitarian added.

De la Rosa, who served three terms as University rector and is a former chairman of the Commission on Higher Education, called for the stricter implementation of the Anti-Hazing Law in schools.

“It is about time that the government strictly enforce the Anti-Hazing Law. A society’s culture is shaped by the worst behavior it tolerates,” he said.

Senators have vowed to repeal Republic Act 8049 or the Anti- Hazing Law of 1995, which only regulates hazing but does not prohibit it.

The law defines hazing as an initiation rite that subjects new recruits in a fraternity to “menial, silly, foolish and other similar tasks or activities or otherwise subjecting him to physical or psychological suffering or injury.”

It penalizes violators with prison time depending on the extent of physical injury, and life imprisonment in case hazing results in death.

On Sept. 17, Castillo was found dead after suffering severe injuries during the hazing rites of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

Castillo’s body was bloated and had bruises and burns from candle wax.

Most of the suspects behind Castillo’s death have been identified by authorities but have yet to be captured.

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