Hazing, A Lesson Not Learned

Hazing, A Lesson Not Learned

Mar 6, 2023, 2:41 AM
OpinYon Editorial

OpinYon Editorial


Once again, Laguna province is left in shock at the most recent case of alleged hazing in the province that cut short the life of another promising student.

Last week, local police found the remains of Jhon Matthew Salilig, an Engineering student from Adamson University who allegedly died after submitting through an initiation rite of a prominent fraternity in Biñan City.

The fact that, instead of notifying his relatives, members of the fraternity attempted to cover their tracks and bury the neophyte’s corpse in what has been described as an “undignified” way has elicited howls of outrage from all levels of society.

Yet this latest incident of hazing has left some sympathetic minds to wonder: Will that outrage — and politicians’ vow to stamp out these nefarious acts of initiation — become once again a “ningas-kugon” move, forgotten until the next incident of hazing?

True, laws are in effect to halt the excessive and often inhumane rites of passage to these exclusive societies. But here in the Philippines, where laws are often treated as mere “suggestions” with no authority whatsoever, anti-hazing laws have so far failed to halt the excessive initiation rites that ultimately result in death.

Added to this, lamentably, is the fact that many of our politicians and leading members of society are fraternity members themselves. And the lure of joining these exclusive societies is too much for ordinary Filipinos, in the belief that this privilege of “brotherhood” will open up many opportunities that are denied to others.

It's often been said that as long as this privilege of “brotherhood” exists, there will be no stopping for our youth who aspire of a better future — and there will also be no stopping for some unscrupulous members of fraternities who also believe that privilege meant they will go off scot-free for their inhumane rites.

Let’s not let this latest incident of hazing go down in history as another case of “lesson not learned” for us Filipinos. That outrage we are all feeling now should be translated to using our power as citizens to pressure our politicians to halt this problematic trend before another promising life is snuffed out senselessly.

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