***Office of the Vice President
24 September 2017***
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday questioned the culture of violence in some fraternities in law schools, saying that initiation practices like hazing are not necessary to prove a neophyte’s loyalty to the group.
VP Leni issued the comment following the death of Horacio Castillo III, a freshman from the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law, who reportedly went through hazing rites of the Aegis Juris fraternity last week. Castillo was found lying on a pavement in Tondo, Manila, and brought to the Chinese General Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival last September 17.
“Nakakalungkot. Parang hindi naman kailangang mangyari, kaya ang tanong natin, bakit nangyayari [iyong ganitong mga insidente]?” she said in her weekly radio show, BISErbisyong LENI, on RMN Manila-DZXL 558.
“Mahirap talagang intindihin … Kasi parang sinasabi kaya nagkakaroon ng hazing kasi ito iyong parang pinakasukat kung gaano ka kadesidido na maging bahagi ng grupong ito. Pero maraming paraan para masukat mo kung gaano kadesidido iyong isang tao na sumali,” she added.
VP Leni, a public interest lawyer, said she understands the intent of law students who join fraternities, but reiterated that violence should have no place in such groups.
“Marami naman akong mga kaibigan na kasali sa fraternity. Marami silang dahilan. Iyong isang dahilan nila, networking,” she said. “Pagkatapos mo mag-graduate, mahalaga iyong mayroon kang pamilya sa labas ng paaralan … na maaasahan mong makakatulong.”
“Ito, valid naman ito, iyong networking, iyong kahalagahan. Siguro iyong hindi natin maintindihan, bakit kailangang magkasakitan?”
In a separate speech before the UST Commerce of Commerce and Business Administration last week, the Vice President had expressed her sympathies to Castillo’s family and friends, saying that as a parent, she understood “how painful” his death must have been to them.
She also urged the university and its community to keep “discourse open” and to “focus efforts on solutions” in the wake of the said tragedy.