A fraternity leader has been arrested after being caught “paddling” a minor in a late-night hazing ritual.
Jaby Isoto, the chapter president of the Alpha Kappa Rho Fraternity (Akrho) in Consolacion town, Cebu, was taken into custody last night (Monday, September 4).
He is now facing charges for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law in relation to Republic Act 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
Police were called to a vacant lot in Barangay Poblacion Oriental at about 11pm.
When they arrived they found Isoto administering paddle hits to a 15-year-old student. Police say the boy was not injured and was able to attend school today.
Other fraternity members at the scene ran away and evaded arrest.
Girls rescued from hazing ritual
According to a report in the Cebu Daily News, two teenage girls were rescued from the scene. The newspaper quoted police officer James Michael Borres saying the girls were under the custody of the municipal social welfare office.
The Akrho fraternity, which was established in 1973, has long been notorious in the Philippines because of its initiation rites.
Those who wished to join had to undergo interviews and orientations before being told to do “humiliating acts” in public.
This stage is followed by an initiation rite in which the aspirant is blindfolded and smacked on the back of the thigh with a wooden paddle.
After the would-be member passes this test, they are then subjected to a ritual in which a heated coin in placed on the back of the aspirant’s right wrist. The resulting circular scar would then act a means of recognition between members.
However, since the introduction of the anti-hazing law in 1995, these initiation rites are officially no longer sanctioned or approved by the leadership of the fraternity.