New law banning all forms of hazing signed  

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Photo grabbed from Horacio Castillo III's Facebook page.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte signed on Wednesday a measure that would ban all forms of hazing as part of initiation rites by fraternities, following the hazing death of UST law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III last year.

Republic Act 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 2018 amends Republic Act 8049, the first measure against hazing passed in 1995, amid clamor to repeal the law to impose stricter penalties on violators.

Carmina Castillo, the mother of the 22-year-old Atio, was “overjoyed” with the development, citing efforts of lawmakers who helped in the passage of the bill.

“We are… thankful to the President for signing the [Anti-Hazing Act] into law. We congratulate the senators and congressmen and all the other people who gave their all and became instrumental to make this… law possible,” Carmina told the Varsitarian in a text message.

The slain UST law freshman died in September of last year in the hands of the Aegis Juris Fraternity, a law-school based fraternity that counts UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina as one of its prominent alumni.

Violators of the law will face stricter penalties of 12 to 17 years imprisonment, and a fine of P1 million on participating officers and members of the fraternity, sorority or organization, if proven guilty.

Alumni and non-resident members of a fraternity or sorority who will attempt to obstruct justice will face a penalty of 12 to 14 years in prison and a fine of P1 million.

Schools may also be penalized with a P1-million fine if any negligence is found, such as failure to send a representative during a fraternity’s initiation rite and if hazing occurs therein.

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Aegis Juris fratmen sent to Manila City Jail 

The new law will also require fraternities to submit to school authorities the names of their faculty advisers who should have knowledge of, and consent to, their activities.

At least two school officials are required to be present to oversee initiation rites and submit a report of everything that transpired during the initiation to the school administration.

The law was authored by Senators Gregorio Honasan, Sherwin Gatchalian, Loren Legarda, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Paulo Benigno Aquino IV and Panfilo Lacson.

The Aegis Juris fratmen who were charged in relation to Atio’s death were transferred to Manila City Jail on May 23 after voluntarily turning themselves in to the National Bureau of Investigation.

Carmina said the arraignment of the 10 Aegis Juris fratmen is scheduled on July 24.

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