Last July 28, 2012, Marc Andre Hervias Marcos’ son, Marc Andre Marcos, went missing. The family looked for him, and even called his phone the next day, but to no avail. In an attempt to contact Andre, Andre’s aunt, Atty. Mariemer Marcos-Rivera, called Globe Telecoms to contact the last person Andre called.
A person answered and confirmed that he knew Andre, and promised that he would try to find his whereabouts. A man called after and asked to meet the family, saying that Andre was in stable condition.
The family met two students, and found out that their son was at the DLSU Medical Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite, and that they underwent hazing from the fraternity Lex Leonum Fraternitas, at a farm at Sitio Bisaya, Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Andre died before his parents could see him. The doctor explained that Andre had no vital signs when he was brought to the hospital, and that he had to be revived several times.
In a press conference, the Lex Leonum Fraternitas extended its condolences to Andre’s family, saying that even they were surprised with the incident, and have promised their cooperation with the investigation. San Beda also promised to cooperate, and is now requiring all new students to sign a fraternity waiver form.
Andre is not the first San Beda student to die because of hazing; last February, another San Beda law student, Marvin Reglos also suffered the same fate, under a different fraternity.
“As a fraternity of lawyers we adhere to the rule of law and the principles of due process,” it said.
More recently, the father of suspected hazing victim had filed charges of murder and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law against the owner of the farm, among other members of the fraternity.
In response, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III expressed the need to strengthen RA 8049, which would regulate hazing and other forms of initiation rites in fraternities, sororities, and other organizations.
In recent years, fraternity-hazing activities have claimed the lives of many; yet there is not enough political will from any of the stakeholders to stop the illegal and inhumane activities that occur during initiations.
The law is clear against abuse and murder, and no amount of cooperation and condolences would ever bring a person back from the dead. Yet the practice has survived the test of time.
We condemn these acts against humanity, and believe that any form of initiation that harms anyone, with or without his or her consent, is a violation of our basic human rights.
The fraternities should stop giving excuses and should start addressing their need to initiate new members; the leaders should start thinking about their organization’s mission and goals and how much it deviates from abuse and murder. Moreover, camaraderie should never be an excuse for anyone to get hurt.
Schools and universities should start taking a proactive approach in eliminating hazing incidence because the issue is not about an organization’s existence; it is about valuing the lives of their students.
In the same manner, students should also be responsible enough not to join a fraternity or an organization that has hazing activities. They should know what they are getting into, and should realize that their lives are more important than the supposed benefits of being a member of a fraternity, such as having someone to watch your back.
The government should also do its part in protecting students from harm. Truth be told, the country really does not need more laws to regulate fraternities. It needs political will from the lawmakers and the leaders who are or were once fraternity members themselves.
Hazing happens everywhere and in all schools, including DLSU and its students. But apparently, people are blind on the issue and only find their eyesight temporarily.
Once someone dies.