MANILA -- The Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Student Disciplinary Board is set to submit on Monday its resolution regarding the alleged hazing incident that involved two cadet officers of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
Institute of Technology (IT) freshman student "Sheena," 18, said two ROTC cadet officers repeatedly hit her on the hand and legs last January 16 as punishment for her failure to attend the briefing night of applicants for the university's Cadet Officers Candidate Course.
The beating, which happened inside the ROTC office, caused severe bruises at the back of her thighs.
"Nagpapasok na po sila ng mga kahoy, pati rin yung tabla na may kalahating pulgada. Bigla po nila akong pinalo sa palad ng anim na beses, pinalo po ng pitong beses gamit po ng wooden rifle sa binti po," she said.
According to University Board Secretary Atty. Merito Lovensky Fernandez, they still have to wait for the affidavits of the ROTC cadet officers before they submit the result of the investigation on Monday.
The 5-member Board, which held the first hearing of the case on Wednesday, refused to name the respondents. It just said they are a 4th year mechanical engineering student and a female 3rd year student.
If proven guilty, the perpetrators of hazing will be expelled from the university.
"The University is not tolerating any kind of hazing. Anyone caught to perpetrate this prohibited act will be dealt accordingly to the rules and regulations of the University," Fernandez said.
Nonetheless, he assured that PUP is still a safe school for students. He said the alleged hazing incident is an isolated case.
Petition for ROTC abolition
Meanwhile, student groups on Thursday launched signature campaigns for the abolition of the ROTC.
In the petition released by the Sentral na Konseho ng Mag-aaral (SKM) and Sandigan ng Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan (SAMASA) Alliance, they said the hazing incident was "a clear manifestation of fascist orientation of ROTC."
"We highly condemn all forms of human rights violation especially those inside schools/universities," they said.
"The case of hazing is not new to the orientation of ROTC. It was not set for the nation's development as it publicizes, but for the nationwide intelligence network or Student Intelligence Network wherein students are trained to spy progressive organizations and student leaders. It is therefore back-up (sic) by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to pacify the people," SAMASA spokesperson Paulo Mantua said.
"The existence of ROTC is a proof of campus militarization. Given this, we encourage the whole PUP Community including the administration and Board of Regents (BOR) to partake and sign the petition on ROTC abolition and raise the fight against campus militarization," he added. -- With report from Gus Abelgas, ABS-CBN News