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De La Salle University - College of Law

In Partial Fulfillment
Of the course requirements in
Legal Profession

Topic 4: The Benefits of Fraternity or Sorority organizations in Law School and in Legal
Profession

Submitted by:
Arquero, David
Baluyut, Renzo
Buluran, Vhalerie
Demmel, Dianne
Guzman, Julius Edward M. Guzman

Year and Section:


1st Year Block GO3

Submitted to:
Atty. Theresa S. Dizon

Date:
October 21, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ 3


CHAPTER II: HISTORY OF FRATERNITIES IN THE PHILIPPINES ............................................... 5
CHAPTER III: CONTROVERSIAL HAZING CASES AND OTHER FRAT-RELATED CASES ... 8
CHAPTER IV: ENACTMENT OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8049 OR THE ANTI-HAZING LAW .... 11
CHAPTER V: PROS AND CONS ......................................................................................................... 14
CHAPTER VI: INTERVIEW(S) OF FRATERNITY MEMBERS ........................................................ 16
CHAPTER VII: CONCLUSION .............................................................................................................. 20
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION

Fraternity is a group of people associated or formally organized for a common purpose, interest 1 or

pleasure, or the quality or state of being brothers; while, sorority is a club of women formed for social

purposes2. In the Philippines, fraternities or sororities have always been labelled and branded to violence.

Moreover, some studies or critics say that fraternities breed elitism, nepotism and other undesirable traits 3.

Hence, in this country, joining such organization is being discouraged or sometimes being prohibited.

In order for an interested individual to join a fraternity or sorority. One must undergo a special initiation

called HAZING. It is the barbaric process in which the frat members, the applicants, usually blindfolded.

This is the most excruciating part of the entire process. Once the hazing starts, there is no backing out. The

applicants have only two alternatives - remain standing until the end of hazing and pass or be knocked out

or worse, die and fall. Some die while being initiated, either intentionally or accidentally. (An example of the

initiation process is mentioned in Lenny Villas Case, Villareal vs. People)

On February 10, 1991, the public was outraged over the death of Leonardo Lenny Villa a hazing victim

which led to a very strong clamor to put an end to hazing. The widespread condemnation prompted

Congress to enact a special, which became effective in 1995, that would criminalize hazing. The intent of

the law was to discourage members from making hazing a requirement for joining their sorority, fraternity,

organization, or association. Moreover, the law was meant to counteract the exculpatory implications of

consent and initial innocent act in the conduct of initiation rites by making the mere act of hazing

punishable or mala prohibita.4

Why fraternities and sororities do still exists despite of the regulation of the government, prohibition of

schools and especially such organization not being accepted by the majority of the society?

The answer is simple, the Philippines a democratic country. According to Article XIII, Section 15 of the

1987 Constitution, provides, The State shall respect the role of independent people's organizations to

enable the people to pursue and protect, within the democratic framework, their legitimate and collective

interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means. People's organizations are bona fide

associations of citizens with demonstrated capacity to promote the public interest and with identifiable

leadership, membership, and structure5. It is clear that in our Constitution, it protects this kind of right to

join organization, in which, if the government prohibits the joining of such organization, this would be

1
Merriam Webster Dictionary
2
Id.
3
Ryan P. Olivia, Why Do Fraternities Still Exist? Available at http://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/notes-and-
essays/brotherhood-in-defense-of-fraternities/ (last accessed Oct. 19, 2017)
4
Villareal v People, GR No. 15128 (2012)
5
Phil Const., Article XIII, Section 15
unconstitutional. What the society and the State condemn is the initiation part when joining a fraternity or

sorority.

It is evidently in our society especially in our government, that most of the officials are fraternity or sorority

members. One great example, is our current President, President Rodrigo Duterte, who is a member of Lex

Talionis from San Beda College of Law. Mean to say that, fraternities or sororities have a great influence

in our society, especially in our education system, whether it be in colleges or law schools.

In this paper, the group will discuss the following effects of joining a fraternity or sorority in law school.

Hence, the group decided to have 5 parts for this paper, namely: (1) History of Fraternities or Sororities in

the Philippines; (2) Controversial Hazing Cases in the Philippines and other Cases which involves a

Fraternity Member; (3) Enactment of the Hazing Law; (4) Pros and Cons of Being a Fraternity or Sorority

Member; (4) Interview(s) of a Fraternity or Sorority Member; (5) Conclusion.


CHAPTER II: HISTORY OF FRATERNITIES IN THE PHILIPPINES6

The Odd Fellows and Freemasonry are considered the oldest fraternities in the Philippines and even in the

world. The first masonic lodge in the Philippines,"Primera Luz Filipina", was established sometime in 1856

but membership was only open to Spaniards. No native became members except those who went to study

in Europe such as Jose Rizal.

The first fraternity to reach the Philippines during the Spanish-American war was the Odd Fellows sometime

in 1872. They became largely responsible for the petty insurrection the following year (Source: Major O.W.

Coursey, U.S. Volunteer, author of the History and Geography of the Philippine Islands). Members were

mostly military servicemen during that time. They held their meetings in Military and Naval base camps.

The first officially chartered I.O.O.F lodge (chapter) in the Philippines was Manila Lodge no.1 which was

instituted around 1898. The lodge ceased to operate during the Japanese-American War.

The Freemasonry in the Philippines that we know today reached the Philippines in the year 1877 and

considered as the second fraternity to reach the Philippine Islands during the Spanish-American war. At

first, they did not accept Filipinos and membership was only limited to a particular Nationality. The first

recorded lodge that accepted Filipinos was Nilad lodge no.1 which was instituted sometime in 1891. They

later formed a Grand Lodge in 1912.

Founded in 1918 the official registered college fraternity in the Philippines is the Upsilon Sigma Phi

considered also as the oldest in Asia.

In all times and among all nations which have reached a sufficient level of cultural development, there have

always been fraternal associations formed for higher purposes. The development of Fraternities can be

traced from trade unions or guilds that emerged in England. These guilds were set up to protect and care

for their members at a time when there was no welfare state, trade unions or National Health Service.

Various secret signs and handshakes were created to serve as proof of their membership allowing them to

visit guilds in distant places that are associated with the guild they belong.

However, many of these Guilds were suppressed starting the 16th Century. In major cities such as in

London, some Guilds survived by adapting their roles to a social support function. Some of these groups

evolved in the 1700s into more philosophical organizations focused on brotherly love, charity and ethical

living now known as a Fraternal Order or simply, a Fraternity.

6
Louie Blake Sarmiento, Research studies and lectures on Philippine fraternalism, retrieved at
http://historum.com/asian-history/20182-how-fraternities-started-philippines.html (last accessed Oct. 21, 2017)
By the late 1700s to early 1800s, many of these Fraternal Orders were transported to America by English

immigrants. At that time, these groups served important social, philosophical and insurance purposes.

Later, the concept of brotherhood was established in colleges. The first among these are the Flat Hat Club

(1750) and P.D.A. Society (1773) focused on literary and scholarship. The oldest Greek-named fraternity

is Phi Beta Kappa founded on December 5, 1776 but this fraternity do not have any chapter in the

Philippines and also converted into an honor society rather than a social fraternity. By the mid-1800's,

fraternal organizations flourished in America and established lodges (chapters) in different parts of the

world.

In the Philippines, Spaniards and other colonizers established several Philosophical and Fraternal Societies

in our country as early as 1850'sbut these chapters only admitted Spaniards or their own race and did not

welcome the natives (Filipinos). In the book, History and Geography of the Philippine Islands (1908), author

O.W. Coursey stated:

The awakening of the Filipinos to a deep sense of injustice being practiced upon them by the colonizers

was the introduction of 'fraternal' societies in the Islands, and to the influence of higher education obtained

by those of means to schools of Hong-Kong and other old-world countries.

The book mentioned that the Odd Fellows Brotherhood spread in the Philippines in 1872. The Freemason

Brotherhood followed in 1877 brought by the Americans. The lodges (chapters) are also established mostly

by military men assigned in Manila. Most members were basically American Military men and their allies

who helped fought the Spanish-American war. The fraternity established their lodges (chapters) and held

their meetings in naval and military base camps.

The first brotherhood to be founded by Filipinos is the Katipunan, short for Kataastaasang

Kagalangalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Supreme and Venerable Society of the Sons of the

People), which was founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892. The primary aim of the fraternity

was to gain independence from Spain through revolution. As many of us know, the brotherhood already

disbanded.

In 1899, the ties between Filipino and Americans was disrupted and the Filipino-American war emerged.

When this war ended in 1902, fraternities started to rise again. Odd Fellows, Freemasons and even the

Elks established lodges in Manila area.

Later, college fraternities began to form especially when American Education (philosophy) reached our

shores. State Universities were the first to enjoy Fraternity Life, particularly in the University of the

Philippines, when the first College Fraternity Rizal Center, a brotherhood of Jose Rizal followers and who

viewed the hero in iconic fashion, was founded (This fraternity is already defunct). The first Filipino Greek
Letter Fraternity, Upsilon Sigma Phi, was founded in 1918. This fraternity is now considered the oldest in

Asia and continues to exist up until today but membership is exclusive only to UP Dilliman and UP Los

Banos students. The oldest sorority in the Philippines is the UP Sigma Beta Sorority founded on February

14, 1932. Membership is exclusive only to UP Dilliman, UP Los Banos, UP Iloilo and UP Davao students.

The progress of fraternities was again interrupted when Japan occupied the Philippines in 1941. W hen the

Filipino-American-Japanese war ended in 1944, Philippine fraternities started to rise up again and many

Filipinos started setting up their own fraternities and sororities.

The peak of fraternalism in the Philippines was probably in the 1950's to 1990's when many fraternities

where founded. Several American fraternities were also imported to the country such as the Alpha Phi

Omega. Also, some locally founded fraternities made allies with some fraternities in the United States.

Afterwards, the rest is history...


CHAPTER III: CONTROVERSIAL HAZING CASES AND OTHER FRAT-RELATED
CASES

In 1954, the first recorded hazing-related death in the Philippines claimed the life of Gonzalo

Mariano Albert, a neophyte of Upsilon Sigma Phi based in the University of the Philippines-Diliman.7 Since

then, there have been at least 36 reported hazing victims ranging from 17-25 years old.8 The enactment of

Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995, a law which was intended to be a deterrent to hazing

activities, imposed graduated penalties ranging from prison correcional to reclusion perpetua, depending

on the gravity of the resulting injuries.9 As the following graph illustrates, such measure may be deemed

ineffective in serving its purpose, for at least 23 more fraternity hazing-related deaths occurred subsequent

to its passage.10 Such figure does not include unreported cases or unaccounted deaths which may have

been caused by acts of hazing. To date, the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995 has had only 1 conviction, which is in

relation to the case of Marlon Villanueva, who died during the initiation rites conducted by the Alpha Phi

Omega fraternity based in University of the Philippines Los Banos in 2006.11

Distribution of Reported Hazizng Deaths (Total of 37)


7

5 Anti-Hazing
Act
4

Let us revisit a number of high-profile hazing cases and their corresponding effects to our legal landscape.

Raul Camaligan (Raul)

Raul was the second of three children whose father, Gilbert Camaligan (Gilbert), is a member of the

Integrated Bar of the Philippines. The Camaligan family already lost its mother even before Raul decided

to enter San Beda College of Law in 1991. Thereafter, he joined Lex Talionis Fraternitas with the

permission of his father, who likewise joined a fraternity during his time in law school. Gilbert however

could not have foreseen the events that transpired on September 8, 1991. On that fateful day, Raul died

7
GMA News Research, Hazing deaths in PHL, 1954present,
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/specialreports/626256/hazing-deaths-in-phl-1954-present/story/,
September 18, 2017
8
GMA News Research, Id
9
Rep. Act No. 8049 (1995), sec. 4.
10
GMA News Research, Supra
11
Gaea Cabico, Anti-hazing law: 22 years, 1 conviction,
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/09/21/1740694/anti-hazing-law-22-years-1-conviction, September 21,
2017
of physical injuries inflicted upon him during the initiation rites conducted by the fraternity. 12 He was the

very first recorded casualty of hazing-related incidents in San Beda College of Law since its institution in

1948.

Eight members of the fraternity, including Al Argosino (Argosino) and Arthur Cuevas (Cuevas),

were charged and initially pleaded Not guilty to homicide charges. The eight accused later withdrew their

initial pleas and upon re-arraignment all pleaded guilty to a lesser offense of reckless imprudence resulting

in homicide. The trial court rendered judgment on February 11, 1993, convicting the accused on the basis

of their pleas and sentenced each of them a penalty of imprisonment of from 2 years, 4 months 1 day to 4

years.13 Argosino and Cuevas submitted their respective applications of probation to trial court, which were

subsequently granted by the same. Notwithstanding their previous criminal convictions, Argosino and

Cuevas were allowed to take the Philippine Bar Examinations which they passed in 1993 and 1996,

respectively. The Court however deferred their oath-taking rites on grounds that the practice of law is a

privilege extended to those morally fit for admission to the noble profession of law. The petitions of Argosino

and Cuevas to take the Lawyers Oath set a legal precedent in which the Court allowed fraternity members

involved in the hazing incident to take the Lawyers Oath and engage in the practice of law. In granting the

petitions, the Court gave weight to the evidence presented by the petitioners which attested to their moral

fiber. Such evidence, in the discretion of the Court, are proof that the petitioners have taken decisive steps

to purge them of deficiencies in moral character and atone for the unfortunate death of Raul I. Calamigan. 14

Lenny Villa (Lenny)

Lenny Villa was an Atenean freshman law student who was among six others who joined Aquila Legis Juris

fraternity. The neophytes were subjected to two days of brutal physical and psychological torture during

their two-day initiation rites which commenced on February 8, 1991. 15 On the last day of initiation, the other

neophytes were awakened by Lennys shivering and mumblings. When his condition worsened, he was

rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Lennys death sparked national outrage

which called for stricter criminal penalties for fraternities involved in hazing activities.

The case set a jurisprudential contention that fraternity hazing is part of traditional rites.

Therefore, the Court can not impute the presence of intent, an essential element in the crime of homicide

or murder, in the acts which led to the untimely demise of Lenny. Hence, the fraternity members responsible

for the crime could only be convicted of a lesser offense of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. 16

Nevertheless, the case of Lenny paved the way for the criminalization of hazing as mala prohibita. In 1995,

R.A. 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Act was passed with the firm hope of discouraging fraternities, sororities or

any associations from incorporating physical, psychological and sexual suffering of neophytes in their

12
In re Argosino, B.M. No. 712, July 13, 1995.
13
In re Argosino, Id
14
In re Cuevas, B.M. No. 810, January 27, 1998.
15
Villareal v. People, G.R. No. 151258, February 1, 2012.
16
Villareal v. People, Supra
initiation rites. The mere act of hazing, for as long as it results in at least physical injuries, is mala prohibita

and punishable under R.A. 8049 regardless of the perpetrators intent.

Horacio Castillo III (Horacio)

Horacio, a freshman student of University of Sto. Tomas, is the most recent victim of fraternity

hazing. His death was caused by physical injuries sustained during the initiation rites by Aegis Juris

fraternity on September 17, 2017. The gruesome tale includes Horacios lifeless body covered with a

blanket, being dumped by his brods on a pavement in the streets of Tondo, Manila. His body bore bruises

in both arms, cigarette burns and drippings of candle waxes.17 News of the incident quickly spread across

various forms of social media platforms, re-igniting calls for more stringent measures to prevent further

deaths of similar nature. The case is currently under investigation.

The abovementioned high-profile cases are just some of the men who were senselessly deprived

of their lives. Much of our society have already forgotten the names and advocations of less prominent

victims but we must remain steadfast in our quest to put a definitive end to hazing deaths. While every

single one of the victims has a different story, all of them entered law school with the hope of one day

becoming an attorney and perhaps make a lasting change in our society. Let us not allow the hopes,

dreams and aspirations of young individuals to altogether vanish in the name of brotherhood.

17
Julliane de Jesus, UST urged to take lead in seeking justice for law students death,
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/931453/law-student-death-justice-hazing-fraternity-gatchalian-horacio-castillo,
September 18, 2017
CHAPTER IV: ENACTMENT OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8049 OR THE ANTI-HAZING
LAW

Republic Act. 8049 [Anti-Hazing Law]

The Enactment of Anti-Hazing Law

Prior to the 1995 Anti-Hazing Law, there was to some extent a lacuna in the law; hazing was not

clearly considered an intentional felony18. There was no law defining and penalizing hazing. Nullum crimen,

nulla poena sine lege. In 1991, the death of Leonardo Lenny Villa shed light on the practice and led to the

enactment of the Anti-Hazing Law in 1995.19 The Congress deems it wise to create a special law penalizing

hazing under the principle of mala prohibita; making the act of hazing punishable. In the case of Villareal v.

People, it was stated that the even the Congress itself recognized that hazing is uniquely different from

common crimes. It recognize that in hazing, one important element of a felony is difficult to prove. The

element of intent especially the animus inuriandi or malicious intent to injure is usually absent. Hence, the

enactment of a special law and not an amendment in the Revised Penal Code was in order.

Salient Provisions of R.A. 8049

The Anti-Hazing law, as stated in its title merely regulate hazing and not absolutely prohibits it.

It is composed of seven sections only. R.A. 8049 gave the definition of hazing which provides that:

SECTION 1. Hazing as used in this Act is an initiation rite or practice as a


prerequisite for admission into membership in a fraternity, sorority or
organization by placing a recruit, neophyte or applicant in some embarrassing
or humiliating situation such as forcing him to do menial, silly, foolish and similar
tasks or activities or otherwise subjecting him to physical or psychological
suffering or injury.

Since it merely regulate hazing, there are instances and ways were an initiation can be legitimize.

SECTION 2. No hazing or initiation rites in any form or manner by a


fraternity, sorority or organization shall be allowed without prior written notice to
the school authorities or head of organization seven (7) days before the conduct
of initiation. The written notice shall indicate the period of the initiation activities
which shall serve not exceed three (3) days, shall include the names of those
subjected to such activities, and shall further contain an undertaking that no
physical violence be employed by anybody during such initiation rites.

Sec. 2 is considered to be the meat of the law since it provides how is hazing is being regulated.

Additional to this requirement is that at least two (2) representatives of the school or organization, as the

case may be, should be present during the initiation.

Life imprisonment will be imposed on individuals involved if initiation rites result in death, rape,

sodomy or mutilation.

As provided in Sec.4, the following are considered as principals:

(1) If the person subjected to hazing or other forms of initiation rites suffers any physical injury or dies

as a result thereof, the officers and members of the fraternity, sorority or organization who actually

participated in the infliction of physical harm;

18
Villareal v. People, (2012)
19
Jodesz Gavilan, What you need to know about the Anti-Hazing Law. September 25, 2017, available at:
https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/183279-fast-facts-anti-hazing-law-philippines.
(2) The parents, if held in the home of one of the officers or members of the fraternity, group or

organization;

(3) The officers, former officers, or alumni of the organization, group, fraternity or sorority who actually

planned the hazing although not present during hazing;

(4) Officers or members of an organization group, fraternity or sorority who knowingly cooperated on
carrying out the hazing by inducing the victim to be present thereat shall be liable as principals;

(5) Fraternity or sororitys adviser which is present when the acts constituting the hazing were
committed and failed to take any action to prevent the same from occurring;

Meanwhile, those who have actual knowledge of the hazing conducted but did not do anything about it

such as owners of the place where it was held, school authorities, and other members of the organization

can be considered as accomplices.20

Anti-Hazing Law Precedents

In the 22 years since the law was enacted, there has only been one conviction. The Supreme Court

(SC), in 2015, found two Alpha Phi Omega (APO) members guilty of violating the law for the hazing and

death of University of the Philippines-Los Baos (UPLB) student Marlon Villanueva in 2006. 21 One of the

most high-profile hazing cases in recent years was that of Marc Andrei Marcos, a first year law student in

San Beda who died in the hands of his fraternity brothers. Anti-hazing law charges were dismissed by

Cavite Regional Trial Court Branch 90 Judge Perla Cabrera Faller in 2013 for lack of probable cause and

ample evidence. 22 This decision led to the dismissal of Judge Faller for exhibiting bias in deciding said

case. In 2016, Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 53 Judge Honorio Guanlao also dismissed the charges

in the case involving the death of De La Salle-College of St Benilde student Guillo Cesar Servando in

2014.23 Many congressman and professors of law think that R.A. 8049 needs improvement and an

amendment should be in order. It is not enough that there is law regulating hazing activities as it is shown

that victims of hazing did not really stop upon its enactment.

Criticisms of and Proposals for R.A. 8049

Former law professor and now Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te wrote that by not

defining hazing as a criminal act per se, subject to specific very narrowly-drawn exceptions, the law itself

guarantees that hazing will continue. 24 He analyze Sec. 2 of R.A. 8049 and states that there are two

absolutely strange and incomprehensible things about it. The first is that there is no penalty provided for its

violation or any consequence that attends the failure to comply with this simple requirement. The second is

that there is no provision that mandates that the notice needs to be approved. Hence, it is meaningless,

20
Ibid.
21
Lim Buan, Whats happening to hazing cases in the Philippines?, February 18, 2017, available at:
https://www.rappler.com/nation/161836-hazing-cases-philippines
22
Ibid.
23
Ibid.
24
Theodore Te, Death and brotherhood, August 3, 2012, available at: https://www.rappler.com/thought-
leaders/9753-death-and-brotherhood
useless and absolutely irrelevant. Since Section 4 does not provide for penalties for violation of Section 2

the failure to give notice. The failure to comply does not amount to an illegal act. 25

Also, in order to give more teeth on the law, some bills were filed for the amendment of R.A. 8049.

Sherwin Gatchalian filed House Bill 4714 called the Servando Act after college student Guillo Cesar

Servando who died due to injuries from hazing which seeks to totally ban any form of hazing on applicants

of any organization.26 When elected in Senate, Gatchalian then filed Senate Bill 199 which does not only

seek to ban hazing, but also puts more responsibility on the schools who are supposed to accredit

organizations, as the current law does provide penalties for them in case a fraternity in their jurisdiction

figures in a hazing incident.27

Last 2016, Ako Bicol partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe led the filing of House Bill (HB) 3731 that will

amend Republic Act 8049.28 He said that The State, as a declaration of policy, should condemn all acts of

fraternity-related violence, most especially those happening in an academic environment. This includes

initiation rites that subject the neophytes to intense physical and psychological torture.

Infliction of physical or psychological suffering should never be tolerated in the name of

brotherhood. R.A. 8049 intent may be noble but this nobility is not enough to put stop on all possible victims

of hazing. The number of cases being prosecuted and resolve are stagnant while the victims are constantly

increasing. Indeed, such barbaric acts should have no place in the modern society and our justice system

should provide not only a law but an effective and efficient law.

25
Ibid.
26
Jee Geronimo, Bill seeks to ban hazing in and out of schools, July 9, 2014, available at:
https://www.rappler.com/nation/62713-bill-total-ban-hazing
27
ABS-CBN News, Anti-Hazing Law still allows hazing, say senator, September 20, 2017, available at:
http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/20/17/anti-hazing-law-still-allows-hazing-says-senator
28
Charissa Luci, House bill toughens anti-hazing law, October 10, 2016, available at:
http://2016.mb.com.ph/2016/10/10/house-bill-toughens-anti-hazing-law/#y89KHoip3dSQ1UOP.99
CHAPTER V: PROS AND CONS

Reasons why law schools allow and disallow fraternities.

The schools allow organizations to be formed as they cannot interfere with the right to association or

organization of a person, guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, Art. III, Sec. 8 The

right of the people, including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations,

or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged 29. Membership in an organization allows

the student to have a sense of belongingness, which is conducive to learning, satisfies the need of a human

to socialize and fosters camaraderie30. All of which are part of the schools goal in forming and nurturing

the character of his students. The interests, motivation, health and happiness are inextricably tied to the

feeling that we belong to a greater community that may share common interests and aspirations. Isolation,

Loneliness and low social status can harm a persons subjective sense of well-being, as well as his

intellectual achievement, immune function and health.31 Fraternities or sororities recognized by the school

are acknowledged and given rules by law in terms of hazing or initiation rites under Republic Act No 8049.

The Sec. 2 of R. A. No. 8049 provides that hazing or initiation are allowed by the school given that a written

notice 7 days prior to the event is submitted and sec. 3 provides that the school must assign two (2)

representatives to be present at the event to prevent physical harm.32

Schools do not allow their students to join fraternities or sororities that they do not recognize, to help them

avoid incidents that may rise and involvement on unlawful acts such as death due to hazing and fraternity

or sorority wars. Upon enrollment, some law schools such as De La Salle-College of Law, supplies a waiver

form to the students, stating that they are not part of any sorority or fraternity and will renounce such

membership, in order to pursue his education at the school. In the Philippines, there are law schools such

as Graduate School of Law of San Beda College, which provide in their student handbook that membership

in an unrecognized fraternity or sorority, if proven, is a serious offense with the possible penalty for

expulsion.33 But such membership to an unrecognized fraternity or sorority cannot be fully monitored by the

school since meetings usually happened underground and outside the school premises.

29
CONST. art. VII
30
Glaiza Jarloc, UST law school dean frat brods act lawyers, par. 8, http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-
news/2017/09/26/ust-law-school-dean-frat-brods-act-lawyers-566086, September 25, 2017
31
Amanda Enayati, The importance of belonging, http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/01/health/enayati-importance-
of-belonging/index.html, June 1, 2012
32
Arellano Law Foundation, Rep. Act. No. 8049 An Act Regulating Hazing and Other Forms of Initiation Rites in
Fraternities and Other Organizations and Providing Penalties Therefor, Sec. 2-3,
http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra1995/ra_8049_1995.html,
33
Ron Gagalac, What lures students to join law school frats?, http://news.abs-cbn.com/-depth/02/23/12/what-
lures-students-join-law-school-frats, February 24, 2012
Benefits of being a member of fraternity in law school and in practice

As a student, the benefits of being a member of a fraternity or sorority, more often than not, are promised

by the members of such organization, as shared by a Lawyer that we had the chance to interview. Usually,

first year law students are still deficient of knowledge and strong character to get through to law school.

Hard work alone sometimes proved to be futile in order to pass. This emotion adds to the attraction to bright

promises such as passing grades in their classes since the Professors are their brothers, access to

information, tutoring, leadership and responsibility development, camaraderie, tips on the questions of the

bar exam, mutual help from the brothers in the higher batch and alumnis, sense of belongingness,

protection from any group which may harm or bully him.34 Fraternities and sororities declare that

nonmembers are social outcasts and barbarians.35 Emphasizing on their preys that the blisters eventually

heal but the gains will last a lifetime.36

The benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority, does not stop even after graduation. There is a promise of

being hired in a good law firm, help and protection when they finally become a lawyer, when a clerk of court

or counsel is your brother, they may manipulate the case assignments to have it in your favor. 37 The

alumnis or members of such fraternities or sororities are influential people not only in the prosecutorial

practice, judicial branch but also in private practice, who will help with the appointment on a coveted public

or private position or promotion or in the field of business, when closing a deal or when present in a

bidding38. This promise of influential post became more popular and widely known when the Philippine

President Rodrigo Duterte announced that his bothers from Lex Talionis fraternity are his appointed

members in key government posts. 39 All reasons mentioned are tempting promise to achieve a spot in a

highly competitive environment of law practice.

34
Josephus B. Jimenez, Why neophytes still join fraternities and sororities?, http://www.philstar.com/freeman-
opinion/2017/09/29/1743714/why-neophytes-still-join-fraternities-and-sororities, September 29, 2017
35
Joshua A. F. Dy, Hazing in law school a social epidemic, http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/60211/hazing-in-law-
schools-a-social-epidemic/#ixzz4vubttaNh , August 03, 2012
36
Joshua A. F. Dy, Supra
37
Josephus B. Jimenez, Supra
38
Josephus B. Jimenez, Supra

39
Fe Zamora, Bond of brothers: Lex Talionis frat members get key govt posts, Par. 2,
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/898071/bond-of-brothers-lex-talionis-frat-members-get-key-govt-posts, May 21,
2017
CHAPTER VI: INTERVIEW(S) OF FRATERNITY MEMBERS

Interview 1

Name: Anonymous

School: San Beda College of Law Mendiola

Fraternity: Lex Talionis Fraternitas

Date you joined the fraternity: August, 2015

1. What were the advantages of being a member of a fraternity when you were studying?

I joined the fraternity during my 1st year college of law.

As a member of the fraternity, I get to have access to some exclusive notes that is shared only within the

members of the fraternity. Also, the older members of the fraternity are there to guide or teach us our ways

around law school. As a first-year law student, this helped a lot in during the adjustment period. Also, they

also gave tips on how to answer during recitations and test. This was extremely helpful for me because this

was never taught in San Beda for we were immediately thrown into the lions den.

2. What were the advantages of being a member of a fraternity when you took the bar exam?

The fraternity has an exclusive Bar Operations strictly for members. Review materials, hotel

accommodation and food are free of charge as they are paid by the Alumnae of the fraternity. Also,

barristers are assigned 1-2 bar buddies that usually delivers their special requests and notes from different

review centers depending on their requests or its availability.

3. If there are any, what are the disadvantages of being a member of a fraternity?

There is less time to spend with classmates since the fraternity sometimes requires services from its

members. With this, this lessens the opportunity of having possible future connections that might prove

useful or helpful. However, this is cancelled out with the connections gained through the members of the

fraternity. But still, it lessens the possible connections for future purposes.

4. Did you undergo any type of initiation rites? (If you could divulge it, may you give a glimpse of your

fraternitys initiation procedure.)

Yes. Will not go to the details. Add sauce to what you hear and it will suffice.

5. Do you think all forms of initiation rites should be completely prohibited? Why?

No. For Fratmen being a member of a fraternity is a privilege. The initiation rites is what separates a

regular organization from a fraternity or sorority. An applicant must undergo the initiation rites in order to

have the access to what the fraternity will offer. This also serves as fun memories during drinking sessions.
Interview 2

Name: Anonymous

School: University of the Philippines

Fraternity: Sigma Rho

Date you joined the fraternity: 2010

1. What were the advantages of being a member of a fraternity when you were studying?

I always told my recruits that fraternity has little, if not none at all, benefits to us while we are still students.

At most, there are materials the fraternity can share, coaching, lectures and of course the brothers. But

really frat life while studying is a sacrifice, an investment of some sort, and the benefits are reaped at

moment one find his name at the list of graduation.

2. What were the advantages of being a member of a fraternity when you took the bar exam?

All your needs and whims are given by the fraternity, not only the notes, lectures and other bar materials.

3. If there are any, what are the disadvantages of being a member of a fraternity?

It is a lifetime commitment.

4. Did you undergo any type of initiation rites? (If you could divulge it, may you give a glimpse of your

fraternitys initiation procedure.)

Yes, No I cant.

5. Do you think all forms of initiation rites should be completely prohibited? Why?

No. Even Sec 2 of the hazing law recognize a valid initiation right. How would an organization streamline

membership if initiation rites are all together prohibited?


Article About Being A Member of a Fraternity

Why Do Fraternities Still Exist?40

By: Ryan P. Oliva

At the beginning of every semester, I always ask my students about their reasons for going to law school.

Some of them answered they want to continue a family tradition. One student even had the audacity to say

that being a lawyer would make him well-connected and rich. Others replied that they want to fight for those

who cannot defend themselves. Their reasons range from the mundane to the sublime.

Similarly, the same is true for young men who joined fraternities. Some of them joined because their fathers,

uncles, and brothers are frat men. Most of them joined for connections that would propel their careers after

graduation. A number joined because they idolize heroes and martyrs associated with a particular fraternity.

When I entered UP as a college freshman, I had no intention to join any fraternity. My mother strongly

advised me against it: Dont associate with atheists. Dont join rallies. Never join a frat. As a dutiful son, I

complied.

But not for long.

In his book On the Good Side of History, journalist Nelson A. Navarro claimed that fraternities were nothing

new or alien to the national experience. He wrote: The Philippine Revolution of 1896, for instance, grew

out of home-grown secret societies of distinctly Masonic or anti-sectarian origins that were all proscribed

and severely punished by Spanish colonial authorities. Rizal, Bonifacio, del Pilar, the Luna brothers and

others were dedicated masons, some directly influenced or initiated by European lodges, for whom blood

compacts, secret codes, physical initiations and loyalty tests were deemed standard practices.

Indeed, the need to belong and the urge to be where the action is are deeply ingrained into the human mind

and that is the alluring and enduring power of fraternities. Millenials have a term for it: FOMO, or fear of

missing out. It was this fear of missing out that made me reconsider joining a fraternity. Thus, when an

invitation arrived from UP Alpha Phi Betaa fraternity based in the UP College of Law whose alumni include

historian Renato Constantino, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, Senator Chiz Escudero, and Albay

Representative Edcel LagmanI reluctantly agreed to hear them out.

Bakit ako sasali sa inyo e namatayan kayo, I asked them this question pointblank. I did my research

beforehand and I discovered that in 1998, neophyte Alex Icasiano died while undergoing initiation.

One of them answered me: Join us because we learned from it, we faced the music, and more importantly,

Alexs family forgave us. He said wryly: At kasama ako sa mga nakulong. But I also learned that there is

life after jail.

40
Oliva, Supra at page 1
Sensing his sincerity, I manifested immediately my intention to join their frat. The member who answered

my question is now a lawyer.

Growing up in the frat, I realized that it was more than just FOMO or expanding my network that made me

join. I was looking for something elsea sense of purpose. All fraternities rest on a powerful idea: that men

could band together and stand up for something greater than themselves. A higher sense of purpose.

Fraternities offer not just personal connections but a feeling of being connected to a higher sense of

purpose. Senior brods would mentor the younger ones about their fraternitys traditions and values, both

the mundane and the sublime. It was like having a backstage access to a rock stars concert when I, just a

law student, was able to talk with then incumbent Chief Justice Puno and ask him for tips on how to succeed

in law school and how to find ones niche in the legal profession. He hastened to add that my efforts would

be useless if not done for the good of the country.

This higher sense of purpose drives fraternities and their members to take up leadership posts in

organizations, take part in campus politics, engage in philanthropy, uphold the standards of their respective

professions, among others. It would be nave, however, to believe that everything is pure and sublime.

Every fraternity could be anything its members would want it to be, for better or for worse.

Critics say that fraternities breed elitism, nepotism, and other undesirable traits. It would be wrong to

dismiss their claims but it would also be wrong to call for the abolition of fraternities. If fraternities were

banned, they would only go underground and as such, it would be harder for university officials to monitor

them and to identify their members in case they run afoul of the law.

Unfortunate incidents hounding fraternities remind us of a bitter truth about the human condition: noble

intentions could be perverted. There is, however, a silver liningthe point where the mundane meets the

sublime. It is called redemption.


CHAPTER VII: CONCLUSION

SUMMARY OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS WITH REGARD TO HAZING

Amongst the multitude of previously cited cases in this report, it is most important to note the
outcome of two cases. These are the separate petitions of Mr. Al Argosino and Mr. Arthur M. Cuevas to the
Supreme Court to allow them to take their lawyers oath. It is important to give premium to these decisions
in order for us to ascertain the gravity of the punishment meted out to these law students and if due to their
involvement in hazing incidents that lead to a death of another person, they were deprived from the
opportunity to practice law.

In Mr. Argosinos petition, the Supreme Court allowed him to take his lawyers oath provided that he
satisfy certain conditions of the Court. The ruling contained the following:

Mr. Argosino must, therefore, submit to this Court, for its examination and consideration,
evidence that he may be now regarded as complying with the requirement of good moral
character imposed upon those seeking admission to the bar. His evidence may
consist, inter alia, of sworn certifications from responsible members of the community who
have a good reputation for truth and who have actually known Mr. Argosino for a significant
period of time, particularly since the judgment of conviction was rendered by Judge
Santiago. He should show to the Court how he has tried to make up for the senseless killing
of a helpless student to the family of the deceased student and to the community at large.
Mr. Argosino must, in other words, submit relevant evidence to show that he is a different
person now, that he has become morally fit for admission to the ancient and learned
profession of the law.

Finally, Mr. Argosino is hereby DIRECTED to inform this Court, by appropriate written
manifestation, of the names and addresses of the father and mother (in default thereof,
brothers and sisters, if any, of Raul Camaligan), within ten (10) day from notice hereof. Let
a copy of this Resolution be furnished to the parents or brothers and sisters, if any, of Raul
Camaligan.41

A subsequent decision by the Supreme Court also decided in the same manner. In Mr.
Cuevas case, the Supreme Court also held that he be allowed to take his lawyers oath as he
already satisfied all the conditions that were necessary as deemed by the Court. It held that:
Petitioner Arthur M. Cuevas, Jr.s discharge from probation without any infraction of the
attendant conditions therefor and the various certifications attesting to his righteous,
peaceful and civic-oriented character prove that he has taken decisive steps to purge
himself of his deficiency in moral character and atone for the unfortunate death of Raul I.
Camaligan. The Court is prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, taking judicial notice
of the general tendency of the youth to be rash, temerarious and uncalculating. Let it be
stressed to herein petitioner that the lawyers oath is not a mere formality recited for a few
minutes in the glare of flashing cameras and before the presence of select witnesses.
Petitioner is exhorted to conduct himself beyond reproach at all times and to live strictly
according to his oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. And, to paraphrase Mr.
Justice Padillas comment in the sister case of Re: Petition of Al Argosino To Take The
Lawyers Oath, Bar Matter No. 712, March 19, 1997, the Court sincerely hopes that Mr.
Cuevas, Jr., will continue with the assistance he has been giving to his community. As a

41
In Re Argosino, B.M. No. 712, July 1995
lawyer he will now be in a better position to render legal and other services to the more
unfortunate members of society. 42

In both cases, the Supreme Court showed mercy by allowing the two lawyers to take their oath
despite previous convictions in the hazing-related cases filed against them.

CONCLUSION
During the course of our research for this report, we deemed it fair to gather information straight
from people involved in fraternities and sororities. This is so that we can get a first hand raw glimpse of their
reasons why they decided to join a fraternity.

At the onset, we tried to establish if they underwent any form of hazing during their initiation rites.
All of them said yes. However, when pressed to describe what happened to them, they would not expressly
state the procedure but some did imply that there was some physical form of hazing that they experienced.

For the benefits and advantages of being a part of the Greek society, most of them cited that the
usual perks of a law student would be that he would receive lecture notes and tips from upper classmen.
When it is time for them to take the bar exam, the perks are even raised higher to free accommodation and
food. Although most of them concede that the ultimate advantage would only be later reaped when they
are already practicing the law profession in that they get to broaden their network and connections. One
even stated that he got a good placement in a government firm due to his fraternitys connection.

From all of this, one can deduce that despite the probability of receiving or being subjected to
physical beatings, those that we interviewed deemed that the benefits outweighed it. It was their conscious
choice to choose to join despite knowing the possible outcomes. All of them in fact, disagreed that initiation
rites must be excluded in the requirements for one to become a member of the fraternity they were involved
in.

COMMENTARY
Due to the most recent hazing incident that led to the untimely death of Horacio Castillo III, there
have been some proposals from our Senators to further strengthen the Anti-Hazing Law. For instance, in
one of the Senate hearings on the matter, Senator Miguel Zubiri proposed to the Department of Justice and
the Supreme Court to study the possibility of including a provision in the law that would penalize all lawyers
and law students with debarment and perpetual exclusion from Law schools, respectively, should they be
involved in a hazing incident no matter how grave or how minute their involvement is. It is expected, that
the brilliant legal minds we have in our society that belong to the Greek club will be up in arms against this
proposal but this may merit a closer look.

There is nothing sadder that a life extinguished at the peak of its potential. Horacio, Lenny, Raul,
these are just some of the many men our society has lost due to hazing. They could have been lawyers
who would defend the marginalized and the oppressed, they could have been lawmakers who would fight
for the rights of those who have the least in life, and they could have been our future leaders who would
uplift and guard our countrys future. All of these, we now can never know for certain since the brotherhood
they wanted so badly to be a part of, ultimately, deprived them from their fathers, mothers, sisters and
brothers. To wit, we offer this comment, violence in initiation rites must not be a requirement to make boys
into men. Especially when this violence leads to the death of a human being.

42
In Re Cuevas, B. M. 810, January 1998