The recent scandal that tainted the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) would be a test case for the new Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Sunday.
The scandal which reportedly involved cadets forcing freshmen to perform oral sex as a form of punishment, Lacson said, is considered hazing under Republic Act 11053, or the new Anti-Hazing Act of 2018.
“In this case, the cadets involved may have the distinction of being the first to be convicted under the new law,” he said in a statement.
The senator also stressed that hazing is now considered a capital offense, with those found guilty facing life imprisonment without bail.
Lacson sponsored the new law in the Senate after his Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs probed the fatal hazing of law student Horacio Castillo III.
The senator explained that under the 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.
Banned under the law are “all forms of hazing” not only in fraternities, sororities or organizations in schools, but also those in communities and even businesses and uniformed service learning institutions, he added.
The liabilities include:
- Penalty of reclusion temporal and P1 million (S$25,767) on the participating officer and members of the fraternity who were involved in the hazing.
- Reclusion perpetua and P2 million on members who actually participated in hazing when under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and on non-resident or alumni who participate in hazing.
- Reclusion perpetua and P3 million on those who participated in hazing that resulted in death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation
- P1 million on the school if it approved an initiation of a fraternity, sorority or organization where hazing occurred.
- Prision correccional (six months to six years) on anyone who intimidates or threatens another for recruitment. This includes “persistent and repeated” proposals or invitations to those who refused to join at least twice
- P1 million for former officers or alumni who try to hide or obstruct investigation.