Justine Mark N. Dagdag, 2nd year Law student, speaks out about his experience with hazing
- August 20, 2019
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Uncategorized
Nothing justifies the act of violence, a former Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet on Tuesday said as he denounced hazing during a forum in Manila.
A cadet for only two months, Justine Mark Dagdag of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Law “squealed’ despite the Code of Silence.
“I squealed the inhuman acts of my upperclassmen and resigned because no actions were given to discipline them. It was also because I cannot tolerate anymore the culture of excessive punishment in the academy,” Dagdag said in his statement.
“There’s an Anti-hazing law already, and the academy implemented a no-touch policy to control maltreatment, so why is this still present?” he added.
He said he had seen similar hazing tools used on Cadert4th Class Darwin Dormitorio at the PMA that resulted in the death of the cadet on September 18.
Dormitorio was laid to rest in Cagayan de Oro City on September 25.
“Not all [cadets] applied to promote machismo. Some applied just to serve the country. Nothing justifies the act of violence,” Dagdag said.
Dagdag also encouraged the youth to speak out.
“I also encourage the youth, for them not to be afraid [of] anyone who violates their human rights. Because today the youth is the tool for the next generation to prosper. So if we will be afraid to speak against this violation of human rights then who will represent us in the future,” he said.
The forum was hosted by former senator Joey Lina, author of the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995, with former senator Heherson “Sonny” Alvarez, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Congressman Rufus Rodriguez.
The mothers of hazing victims Dormitorio and University of Santo Tomas (UST) Civil Law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo were also present.
Castillo died upon arrival at the Chinese General Hospital on September 17, 2017, after undergoing hazing in the hands of the Aegis Juris Fraternity.
The UST Civil Law Student Council also condemned hazing, saying that they were “willing to lend a hand” to stop the act.
“We are doing this not only for society, but specifically, in particular for Kuya Atio Castillo, our friend,” Faye Gutierrez, a representative of the council, said.
The Association of Law Students of the Philippines-National Capital Region also rejected hazing but clarified that they are not condemning individuals who join certain organizations.
According to Rian Nadora, the group’s public relations officer, organizations should put “paramount priority” to a member’s right to life and “right to be free from unnecessary violence.”
“What we do want is that these organizations be accountable and responsible with regards to the actions of their members. [W]e do understand that the actions of these members do not necessarily reflect the morals and the values that these organizations uphold,” Nadora said.
“…Prevention is always better than the cure. Because if we can prevent it at that level before the unnecessary violence will occur, it could have been a better situation in order to also promote the right to self association of these students,” she added. —LDF, GMA News