The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines – It’s not pure coincidence that many of the young men and women who are lured to fraternities—and several of whom fall prey to hazing---are children of overseas Filipino workers, according to an OFW support group that conveyed the workers’ warnings on Sunday.
Reacting to the latest hazing incident that killed San Beda law student Marc Andre Marcos, OFWs are strongly warning their sons and daughters studying in Philippine colleges and universities to reject and denounce hazing saying that “fraternities and sororities must end the barbaric, uncanny hazing tradition.” The warning was conveyed by Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona.
Some recent hazing victims subjected to the same initiation rites as deceased victim Marc Andre Marcos are sons of OFW parents. Ryan Maranan and Ed Lara are among the six neophytes of Lex Leonum Fraternitas, implicated in the Marcos death, whose parents are working abroad.
Early this year, Marvin Reglos, 25, freshman from the San Beda College of law, died due to alleged hazing. Reglos’s mother is also an OFW.
“This is not purely coincidental. Poor and not-so-rich parents who wanted their sons and daughters to become lawyers are also forced to work overseas to support the latter’s law studies noting that 4-year law education is expensive,” said Monterona.
It is the same situation, Monterona noted, where OFWs sons and daughters often ended up dropping their studies and instead became victims of common vices. “It certainly falls within the so called social cost of migration where parents being away from their sons and daughters could not properly exercise parental guidance.”
Marlene Ibanez-De Guzman, a Saudi-based OFW, has two sons, a freshman and the other is a 3rd year college student, both currently studying in Metro Manila. “I am constantly reminding my sons to not join fraternities, not that I am against it, but hazing is a big, big NO!” Ibanez-De Guzman reacted on hearing the news on law student Andre Marcos’ death.
Another Saudi-based OFW Rustico Marcos expressed his strong opposition against hazing: “Hazing was outlawed -with the passage of anti-hazing law- for nothing. It cost many lives of our young bright men. It’s unfortunate that fraternities that still practice the barbaric hazing continue to ruin and kill.”
Both, just like many OFW parents, called on President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III to strictly implement the anti-hazing law. “PNoy as the country’s chief executive is vested with executive power to strictly implement the law. Enough of ‘Noynoying’!” both OFW parents added.
On his part, Migrante-Middle East called on law fraternities and sororities and their neophytes whose parents are OFWs to instead devout time to render voluntary legal aid to Migrante.
“We have lots of cases involving OFWs. They may choose which case to handle ranging from labor rights violations to abuse, sexual harassment to mysterious deaths, for their volunteer legal aid program with us. They’re most welcome,” Monterona said.
“OFW parents would be more than happy to see their sons and daughters while taking up law to be working with us handling pro bono cases involving OFWs such as writing pleadings, drafting case briefs and assisting victims to execute affidavits, accompanying and guiding victims to appear in NLRC, POEA, OWWA, during case hearings,” Monterona said.