MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday it would ensure that investigations into the death of a Grade 10 student, allegedly due to hazing, would be carried out.
The incident happened in San Enrique, Negros Occidental, according to a statement issued earlier this week by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which is also looking into the matter.
"The department will ensure that investigations will be carried out immediately. We enjoin our schools to take a more active role in the prevention of violence," the DepEd said in a statement as it condemned "any violence perpetrated against learners."
The agency added that it strictly implements the Anti-Hazing Act and cited Department Order No. 7 S. 2006, which reiterates the prohibition of hazing and fraternities in basic education institutions.
The CHR, citing police reports, said the victim's death "may be due to hazing-related activities as a wooden paddle was found in the house of one of the suspects."
The victim joined a fraternity in March but did not undergo initiation rites because he was still a minor at the time, the CHR said.
Prior to the victim's death, a day after his 18th birthday, the student reportedly told his parents "that the suspects hit him with a paddle," the commission said.
The CHR also reminded schools and higher education institutions "that they remain duty-bound to uphold and protect the rights of their students" despite the shift to remote learning during the pandemic.