A House committee wants to put an end to hazing-related deaths.
On Tuesday, the chair of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education stated that the provisions of Republic Act 11053, also known as the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, will be implemented.
During the investigation into the death of Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) Cadet 4th Class Jonash Bondoc on July 6 in questionable circumstances within the school premises in San Narciso, Zambales, Baguio Representative Mark Go gave the assurance.
The inquiry, according to Go, aims to introduce legislative measures to end the culture of violence not only in the PMMA but in all other learning and training institutions.
Rep. Lawrence Fortun of Agusan del Norte (1st District) authored House Resolution 1953, which prompted the investigation.
While a suspect, Cadet 3rd Class Jomel Gloria, had been identified, arrested, and charged, Fortun claimed that his incomplete and selective admission contradicted the Zambales crime laboratory’s autopsy.
Glaiza Bondoc, the victim’s sister, spoke at the virtual hearing and said she and her family are still fighting for justice for her brother, who died of a blunt traumatic injury to the head, according to the police report.
“He died inside the PMMA when he was only 20 years old.” He died while attending his dream school. The academy was supposed to be a ray of hope, a learning environment, and a safe haven for someone who was far away from home and family. Instead, it was a place where his dreams came to an end,” she explained.
During the hearing, a screenshot of an anonymous sender’s message to Glaiza, dated July 11, 2021, stated that Gloria was not the only one who hit Bondoc.
PMMA cadets struck other cadets in various parts of the body while they were all in uniform, according to some videos shown at the public online hearing, which were purposefully blurred.
“Hindi lang gulpi ang inaabot ng mga kadete sa loob ng academy, kundi pati na rin incorrigible sleep deprivation na isa ring anyo ng (The cadets were not only beaten up in the academy, but they were also subjected to incorrigible sleep deprivation, which is another form of) torture!” Fortun remarked.
As a condition of admission or continued membership in an organization, hazing includes “physical or psychological suffering, harm, or injury inflicted on a recruit, member, neophyte, or applicant.”
All forms of hazing in fraternities, sororities, or organizations in schools, communities, and businesses, as well as uniformed service learning institutions, are prohibited under the law.
Bondoc, according to Fortun, is a “promising young man from a loving family who, in good faith and high hopes, enrolled in the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy to better himself and prepare himself for a rewarding career as a world-class mariner.”
“The promising young man who left Butuan to attend his dream academy returned home in an urn, lifeless and forever gone.” He stated, “This is a painful reality that his family will have to live with for the rest of their lives.”
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