Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday night said the enactment into law of the anti-hazing law is proof that Horacio “Atio” Castillo III did not die in vain and that his legacy lives on.
“We dedicate the Anti-Hazing Law to Horacio ‘Atio’ Castillo III. He did not die in vain and his legacy lives on in this law,” Zubiri, author of the bill, said in a press briefing on Wednesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City.
“I want to call this law the ‘Atio Castillo Law’ because it was really him who sparked the anger amongst everyone; parents, students, elderly, clergy and basically everybody who have children, who love their children and who have decency in their hearts,” the senator said.
The death of the University of Santo Tomas freshman law student in September 2017 has sparked rage and public clamor for justice against victims of hazing in the past years.
Earlier on Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11053, an amendment on the 1995 version, which bans all forms of hazing and impose stiffer penalties against violators.
Hazing, as referred to in this law, is “any act that results in physical or psychological suffering, harm or injury inflicted on a recruit, neophyte, applicant or member as part of an initiation rite or practice made as a prerequisite form of admission or a requirement for continuing membership.”
Zubiri has warned all organizations to end any form of hazing, may it be mental, physical, or psychological.
“Not only did we pass the law, but we also put the perpetrators behind bars. The only thing we have to follow up with is convictions. For justice to be finally made, the conviction of the win is what is necessary,” he added.
In an additional statement, the legislator expressed his sympathy to the loved ones of Castillo, saying that justice has finally been served.
“Finally, justice has been served to Atio, his family, classmates and fraternity brothers who boldly pursued the truth,” he said.
Zubiri wishes that the death of the law student would serve as a reminder that “violence should never be a part of initiation rites.” — Syrah Vivien Inocencio, INQUIRER.net/Intern /ee
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