MANILA - Vice-President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday defended fraternities in the Philippines but said the practice of hazing should be discontinued.
Binay, a member of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Fraternity, said the Constitution allows for the creation of fraternities.
"A fraternity is like any other organization. The right to organize, to create an organization is guaranteed in the Constitution. Ang bawal ay yung unlawful activities," he told reporters at the wake of slain De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB) sophomore Guillo Cesar Servando.
Servando, 18, died of injuries allegedly sustained during initiation rites by the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity.
Police are now looking for at least 11 to 15 Tau Gamma fratmen who are allegedly linked to the brutal hazing rites that killed Servando.
Binay told reporters that the practice of hazing has been discontinued inside Alpha Phi Omega.
"Bawal na ho sa amin. I also underwent hazing. It must be clear to each and every member na bawal sa batas. Kung mamamatay, mas bawal yun. Kumitil ka ng buhay," he said.
The Vice-President said he talked to the Servando family after the latter asked for his help.
He urged those being linked to the hazing rites that killed Servando to own up to the responsibility.
"Hindi kayo habang buhay magtatago. Meron kayong dapat harapin. Hindi ho tama. Unang-una, bawal ho yan at pangalawa condemnable po yan. Buhay ang nawala. Hindi tama," he said.