MANILA- "No parent deserves to lose a child, much more due to hazing."
This was the message of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri in his privilege speech Wednesday, as he sought justice for law freshman Horacio Castillo III, who died due to hazing.
Zubiri, a friend of the slain student's father Horacio Castillo Jr., said he visited the wake of Horacio on Tuesday night and shared the plight of the grieving family.
"No one deserves to die from hazing or any other brutal and senseless death," the senator said.
Horacio, a student of the University of Santo Tomas, had told his parents he was attending the welcoming rites of the Aegis Jvris fraternity at the UST campus late Saturday but never made it home.
His bloodied body was later found by John Paul Solano, also a law freshman, on a sidewalk in Balut, Tondo and brought the former to the Chinese General Hospital, where the 22-year-old was declared dead.
Solano is now the primary suspect in the death of Horacio and has been placed in an immigration lookout order along with 15 other members of the Aegis Jvris fraternity.
Zubiri delivered his speech in the presence of Nicole Castillo, the only sister of Horacio and is currently an intern in the senator's office.
"Most of us here are parents with loving children and I could not imagine the pain of losing a son or daughter because of violence, because of hazing," Zubiri said.
"It would be the most tragic event to happen to me and my family, God forbid. We do do not wish this to happen to any parent or family," he added.
Zubiri revealed that Horacio, a student leader in UST during his undergraduate studies, had dreamed of becoming a senator.
"He was a fan of the Senate and reportedly told his father repeatedly that he wanted to become a senator one day. Now, I’m afraid, that day will never come," he said.
The senator also lamented how the current anti-hazing law only "regulates" hazing but does not prohibit it.
He said they have filed a bill to replace the measure with a stronger one that would ban hazing outright.
"No parent should bury their children from such senseless death--deaths from violence and crime. It's about time we prohibit hazing...Brotherhood and sisterhood should not be realized at the expense of our youth," he added.- Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News