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
Peer pressure
History of abuse
Wall of silence

Read on…


  1. ERNESTO MACEDA JR: The 1995 Anti-Hazing Law, R.A. 8049, was intended as a deterrent to our baser instincts. After Congress passed this response to the string of hazing deaths in the early 1990s, no one else was supposed to perish in initiation rites. Had the law’s protections been strictly followed: prior notice to the school; advance listing of neophytes; pledges against the use of violence; attendance of 2 school representatives, it is arguable that the reported hazing deaths (26 since the law was passed) and the countless injuries that flowed from the culture of impunity of initiation rites could have been avoided. http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2017/09/23/1741728/baser-instincts