Aquino asks elder members of fraternity groups to stop hazing

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III urged the elderly members of different fraternity groups on Tuesday to stop hazing following the death of a college student allegedly after undergoing hazing rites.

In an interview in Pampanga where he attended the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force Tuesday, Aquino said there is no need to ban hazing since there is already an anti-hazing law.

“There is an Anti-Hazing Law already in the books. So one has to ask, what is lacking in terms of enforcement that prevents us from exercising the full penalties embodied in that law," he said.

The President said he would consult with the legal experts and the law enforcers "as to extensively what more can be done."

Aquino, who is not a member of any fraternity group, wondered why one, who could be called a brother by other members, has to undergo hazing.

"I think I would like to call upon all the elders of these various fraternities even if you had to undergo the same, isn't it about time that you were the most active in making sure that it stops?" he said.

Guillo Cesar Servando, a second year Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management student of De La Salle University-College of Saint Benilde, was found unconscious with three other students in a condominium unit on Taft Avenue, Manila, Saturday night.

The students reportedly underwent initiation rites.

The Manila Police District (MPD) said a suspect in the killing of Servando surrendered.

His name was withheld by MPD spokesperson Chief Inspector Erwin Margarejo but confirmed the suspect is a member of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity, which has been linked to the hazing incident.

Margarejo said the suspect admitted that the hazing happened in Barangay Palanan, Makati City.

The MPD also have two additional suspects, who were seen in the security video dragging Servando in the corridor of One Archer’s Place condominium.

The MPD said they are still checking the real identities of “T-Rex Garcia” and “Hans Tamaring,” whose names appeared on the security logbook. Overall, the police are looking at 11 suspects allegedly linked to Tau Gamma Phi.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Servando's death.

For his part, Vice President Jejomar Binay denied having received feelers from suspects who intended to turn themselves in. He said, however, that he would welcome any who wished to surrender directly to him.

Rather than banning fraternities outright, Binay instead pushed for their recognition by universities and other educational institutions so that they can be monitored and regulated.

"Ang alam kong naging malaking bagay sa UP (University of the Philippines), iyang mga iyan (fraternities) ay mino-monitor, regulated, at least, kilala mo sila. If they are registered, they are informed, 'Ops, bawal ang hazing ah.' Kapag nagkaroon ng hazing, sususpindihin namin kayo," said Binay, a member of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity in UP. (SDR/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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