Category: crime

level up, frats!

been bloggging for 10 years this september and, of course, i’ve blogged about hazing and frats before, twice referring to dr. godofredo stuart jr’s updated online essay Hazing in the Philippines, and doing it again, zeroing in this time (after last night’s senate hearing on horacio castillo III’s hazing death) on why fraternities need not be banned, and / but why RA 8049 doesn’t work, and how macho frats could level up the hazing from violent pits to noble heights.

FRATERNITIES NEED NOT BE BANNED

Every time a death occurs, part of the hue-and-cry is to ban, dissolve, or prohibit fraternities, and the question inevitably raised: Do fraternities have a place in society?

Outlawing fraternities will do nothing but drive them underground. Besides, fraternities provide for various human needs — a surrogate family, a place for young men and women to forge friendships, bonding, and trust, a milieu of kindred spirits, a place to experience community. It is the hazing that is the unnecessary ritual, and the deaths from it so senseless.

Hazing wasn’t part of the Greek and medieval origins of fraternities. Hazing took roots in that period of change when the ancient rituals and classic traditions of intellectual explorations and expressions were disappearing. Now, what remains in some (most?) fraternities are the Greek letters, symbols and crests, hedonistic extracurricular pursuits, and its annual ritual of hazing.

Hazing is the fraternity’s murderous thorn on its side. Many organizations, schools and universities have banned it, but to no avail. The deaths continue. In 1995, the anti-hazing law, Republic Act No. 8049, was approved by President F. Ramos. The law is impressively replete with definitions, liabilities and penalties — reclusion perpetua, reclusion temporal, prison mayor, prison correcional. Yet, it has woefully failed to stop the beatings and deaths. And in the theater of the courts, the guilty have always managed to skillfully mitigate culpability through avenues of twisted legalese, loopholes, and appeals.

It’s a law that lacks teeth, rife with flaws. It allows hazing or initiation rites with ridiculous conditions that seem to not recognize the potential for violence: That prior notice is given seven (7) days before, that it must not exceed three (3) days, that no physical violence be employed, that two school or fraternity representatives be present.

And alcohol? It is ubiquitous in our celebratory gatherings. Certainly so, in initiation rituals. It shouldn’t take much to imagine how much of the violence is fueled by alcohol. And despite the fact that 82% of deaths from violent hazing involve alcohol, the law makes absolutely no reference to alcohol.

Hazing is a blood sport, a ritual of power and control wielded with violence. The street gangs, cults and the underworld may never be rid of it, but schools and universities should be saved from it. The youth should be protected from the psychological and physical violence. It is inane and insane to expect that promulgation by law can regulate, supervise, and temper the violence. Hazing in all its forms should be punished with expulsion. Deaths should be dealt with for the heinous crime that it is, by a law with teeth, unencumbered by legal loopholes and politics.

MANSLAUGHTER
Justice Secretary de Lima expressed puzzlement when Judge Perla Cabrera-Faller dismissed the charge for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law in the hazing death of San Beda law student Marc Andrei Marcos for “lack of probable cause and ample evidence.” Of course, nothing followed her puzzlement. Incredulously, the judge exculpated: “No one is to be blamed for the death of Andrei Marcos… The court feels that it could suffer the flak of society, but it cannot in conscience consign all of the accused to the dust bin of history simply on the basis of the uncorroborated and incredible lone statement of Marcelo.”

The history of hazing is littered with deaths. Despite the deaths and known risks, fraternities continue with with their conspiratorial regimens of torture. Despite having been criminalized by Republic Act 8049 more than a decade ago, the deaths continue. Despite “zero-tolerance” edicts and sound bites, when hazing season comes around, schools and universities turn a blind eye, waiting for the next death—when it becomes the occasion for the usual public outcry, condemnation and condolence.

Every hazing death clamors for justice. Hazing deaths qualify as manslaughter. At the least, involuntary manslaughter. But in the Andrei Marcos case, the judge found lack of probable cause and ample evidence! No one to be blamed!

Non-Violent Alternatives

Hazing can be replaced by non-violent alternatives that measure the mettle, worth, and resolve of the pledges. For the able-bodied pledges, have them walk to Baguio, planting trees along the way. Spend their weekends and a whole stretch of summer in volunteer work. Take to the boondocks, like the teachers who walk their arduous miles and wade through rivers daily to reach small communities of children hungry to learn how to read and write. Provide community service to the countless riles communities. Clean the garbage and refuse that clog up the tributaries of the Pasig river. There are limitless opportunities waiting to be invented for a fraternal Peace Corps of pledges. And instead of the twisted glamor of initiation violence, let the pledges prove their worth and mettle with a new kind of macho-ness, through deeds that boast of sacrifice, social relevance, and a dose of nobility.

Hazing in the Philippines

When death occurs, at the very least, it is manslaughter.
Dr. Godofredo U. Stuart, Jr.

September 18, 2017 . . . and yet, another death. Hazing claimed the life of UST a law student, Horatio Tomas Castillo III, as he sought the promises and possibilities of a future in the brotherhood of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.

It is a human condition — the need to belong to a family, group, tribe, club, organization, or community. Some seek the allure and exclusivity of some brotherhoods or sisterhoods — fraternities and sororities, street gangs, military units, secret societies — for that special sense of belonging, kinship, and bonding, and for the promise that membership in a special community of men or women will provide a lifelong cachet, to reap imagined privileges, reassurances, and advantages later on in life. In return, one accepts the ethos of a brotherhood, subservience to a set of ideals, and commitment to a code of silence.

For that fraternity, men and women are willing to suffer through the hazing rituals of physical and psychological abuse, sometimes a combination of extreme and heavy doses of both — being smeared with feces or urinated on, drinking concoctions of bodily discharges, suffering torrents of degrading insults, demeaning sexual acts and nudity, or various acts and varying degrees of physical violence. They are meant to humble the pledges, and from that humbling, they imagine, springs bonding, love, and trust.

The consequences of psychological abuse are often hidden. But sometimes, after the hazing, beneath the seeming normalcy, there is a lifetime of psychological scars or wounds that never heal.

Elements of Hazing
Power
Control
Testosterone
Sadism
Peer pressure
History of abuse
Alcohol
Wall of silence

Read on…

aguirre’s anti-drugs rhetoric

At the Senate hearing on Delos Santos’ death on Thursday, August 24, Aguirre asked human rights groups why they are not as vocal whenever drug addicts kill or rape victims, echoing his statements at a House budget hearing on Wednesday, August 23.

“Bakit ‘yung sa Bulacan, mayroong ni-rape na babae tapos may 3 minor, bakit ni isa walang dumalaw? Even one from human rights. [But] the (human rights) chairman went to the wake of Kian yesterday. So ‘yun po disproportionate; parang ‘di pantay. Anong diperensya ng pinatay na bata ng mga adik sa pinatay na bata ng mga pulis?” (What’s the difference between a child killed by an addict and a child killed by police?)

the justice secretary is being the president’s lawyer, of course, defending duterte’s drug war and the besieged police, muddying the waters without compunction, and distracting from the real issue at hand.  on social media, the ka-DDS (duterte diehard supporters) have picked it up, echoing and affirming aguirre’s question as the correct response to bleeding hearts crying for an end to the killings of kids such as kian.

isang taon na tayong stuck sa usaping ito.  read marvin bionat’s PH social media drowning in fallacies and incivility posted 31 aug 2016.  even then, nakakanerbiyos na ang takbo ng isip ng maraming pro-duterte.

… supporters of extrajudicial killings often post on social media their now ubiquitous question: “Where is the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) when innocent civilians are murdered, raped and robbed by drug addicts?” There is a straightforward answer to that question—that is, the CHR’s constitutional mandate is not fighting crime but fighting human rights abuses involving civil and political rights, so they have nothing to do with daily crimes and police work. It is like asking where the nurses and doctors are (not the fire department) to put out a raging fire. But the emotion-laden rhetorical question suits those who would rather not see the CHR meddle in the government’s war on drugs.  

read too fr. ranhillo aquino’s Fallacy as the new normal, posted 25 august 2017.  

When bishops decried Kian’s murder only recently, there almost immediately followed a flurry of regurgitated issues about clergy abuse of minors. There was also posed what, I can only presume, was meant to be rhetorical question: “Bakit hindi kayo nag-ingay nung may pinatay ag ginahasa ang mga adik?”  It is not the fallacies that alarm me, because they can occur even in the discourses of the learned—of course, at a very high, almost indiscernible, degree of subtlety.  But the fallacies on Facebook and other social media sites are blatant and arrant.  What makes me quake in my shoes though is that they are no longer recognized as fallacies and have in fact been accepted as the “rhetoric” of the age.  Fallacy is irrationality and to make it the mode of thinking is pathetic, tragic even.

…When a bishop cries out “This is murder” and you answer “Direct your priests first who molest children”, the fallacy should be clear.  The question is whether the deed is murder or not.  The molestation issue is quite another — which is not to say that it is not a legitimate issue.

AGUIRRE:  Anong diperensya ng pinatay na bata ng mga adik sa pinatay na bata ng mga pulis?

may tama si aguirre: walang pinag-iba ang batang pinatay ng adik sa batang pinatay ng pulis.  if we’re talking about the bata as victim, well, they’re both dead. if we’re talking about the killers, well, parepareho silang nawala sa sarili, yung adik under the inflluence of shabu, yung pulis under the influence of the president’s kill kill kill orders — i have your backs, say niya, and that must be so nakaka-high.

and, hey, they all deserve due process and rehab options, crazed addicts and trigger-happy cops alike.

Statement of the National Fact Finding Mission on the HTI tragedy

In light of the apparent information blackout concerning the fire that devoured the House Technology Industries main building (HTI) inside the Cavite Export Processing Zone, various labor institutions and people’s organization initiated a National Fact Finding Mission to probe the extent of casualties, the circumstances of the incident and possible labor standards violations that resulted in one of the worst workplace tragedies in history.

The initial findings of the Quick Response Team on February 2 and the NFFM conducted on February 4 and 5, indicate the following:

Read on…