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Sen. Bam files for investigation on death of hazing victim

A senator has filed a resolution to look into the death of University of Sto. Tomas law student Horacio Tomas Castillo III allegedly due to hazing-related activities.

In his Senate Resolution No. 510, Sen. Bam said the probe will focus on ways on how to give more teeth to Republic Act No. 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law to keep it abreast with the changing times.

“There is a need to improve the existing mechanisms for the deterrence of hazing-related crimes,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the community and the schools and universities are integral in ensuring that the crimes of the past will not happen again to pre-empt deaths of new members.

Since the passage of RA No. 8049 in 1995, around 26 cases of hazing-related violence were reported, according to Sen. Bam.

These include Mervin Sarmiento and Oliver Estrella in 1995, Alexander Icasiano in 1998, Ace Bernabe Ekid and Dominante Tunac in 2000, Rafael Albano in 2001, Marlon Villanueva in 2006, Mark Rodriguez and Chris Mendez in 2007, Elvis Sinaluan in 2009, EJ Intia in 2010 and Anthony Javier in 2015.

The 22-year-old Castillo was found on a sidewalk in Balut, Tondo on September 17, 2017. He was brought to the Chinese General Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Horacio’s body was bloated, bruised and had candle and cigarette marks all over the body.

Before he was found dead, Horacio asked for permission from his parents to attend the “welcoming ceremony” of the fraternity Aegis Juris where he is a new member. The victim’s parents gave their consent, thinking it was just a harmless social activity.

Earlier, Sen. Bam condemned the death of Horacio, saying that the culture of violence in the Philippines must end.

“There should be no place in our society for violence and cruelty,” said Sen. Bam, who called on authorities to investigate the matter and put those behind this heinous crime behind bars so justice may be served to the family of the victim. | SENATE- PR

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