By Manuel L. Morato
After so many bad things that happened in that so-called “hazing”, just to be a member of a fraternity, the latest senseless victim of which was Darwin Dormitorio, fourth class (equivalent to 1st year college) in the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City who lost his young life due to hazing.
It is very hard to accept how such brutality could be done to a freshman student to “toughen” them? But why? Is there really a need for that? A well-rounded upbringing and education should be the goal of all educational institutions. In the case of the PMA, we feel that they could cultivate and inculcate on its students to be gentlemen soldiers. Soldiery is not about brutality. Law enforcers are respected for what they ought to be – honorable men and women who can have a better approach to the citizenry with honesty and integrity and compassion.
We have oftentimes heard of police brutalities. When suspects are treated harshly, they tend to react the same way. I feel with an approach to the heart of any person will result to better understanding. There is always some goodness in any person’s heart. I don’t believe that a bad person is all bad.
Circumstances and many other reasons might have led them astray, but somewhere hidden in the recesses of their mind and heart some goodness and kindness that they have acquired from the bosom of their mothers who brought them into this world. And that’s the part that all must be aware of. A mother’s love and care when we were born is imbedded into every child’s mind.
It is only right, as now being proposed by the Senate, to make hazing a “heinous crime.” Looking back, how many good young students who were subjected to hazing lost their lives; and it’s the good ones who are killed. We often hear from their families, friends and classmates how good a person the victim was after the tragedy. Talagang mababait sila para tiisin ang parusang ginagawa sa kanila. Sayang ang buhay at future nitong mga batang estudyante. ‘Yong mga torture sa kanila dapat pagsisihan. You, the upper-classmen and the institution, are supposed to educate them to become gentlemen soldiers, those who would stand by the law and follow the law, not to be lawbreakers because that’s what “hazing” wants to make out of them.
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Another student lost his life according to RArcadiaINQ. or Inq.newsinfoinquirer.net. A 14-year-old student was late in coming to class. He collapsed while running around his schools’ field as punishment for coming to class late.
The question to ask for a harsh punishment is: Why? Was he always late? Was it the first time, or second time?
We hope “punishments” would not be too harsh. The 14-year-old must have had a defective heart – a heart problem, congenital or otherwise.
Those subjected to stressful punishments must be checked by doctors first. All schools have a clinic. As simple as taking the blood pressure would help. There are young people with high blood pressure problems at a young age or some other physical disability or illness. In my school days abroad, “punishments” were never harsh. Normally, a misbehavior was reported to the Father Rector who takes care of discussing with the student. Warnings are given. And “hazing,” as we do it here was never heard of in my schooling abroad.
Freshmen students were only subjected to lessen their pride to make them humble, never to torture them or hurt them.
I wrote a full article on “Hazing” on November 10, 2017, which can be referred to in People’s Journal data base. It was about the late Horacio “Atio” Castillo III who was then the latest victim of hazing.
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On a lighter note, this reminds me of persons in confession. It was a story I heard while in grade school in Spain. The story goes that a priest gives the compensatory “punishment” for the person in confession for bad acts committed.
The person who confessed was given penance of 3 Hail Mary’s. The next who confessed had committed a graver sin and told to walk around the Church ten times. But there was a person who committed a very grievous sin. The priest in the confessional told him: “You better use your motorcycle for you have to go around the Church hundreds of time for your penance!”
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IN MEMORIAM †
Personally, I will miss the passing away of Amalia (Nena) Fuentes, a longtime friend and a kind friend. Nena was a very frank person and never was a hypocrite. She either liked you or she kept a distance.
I can only say something about her in this column that will come out on the day of her burial, Tuesday, October 8.
Amalia, with all my prayers to the Lord and Our Blessed Mother Mary to keep you for all eternity. My deepest condolences to your family.
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