Many blawggers have cleared the path even before I stumbled on blogging almost two years ago. Lately, I’ve discovered a number of blawgs, and I use this term loosely to refer to blogs that are written by lawyers or students of law.
There’s Life’s Chorva, written by Ms. Tetch Torres of Inquirer.net. There’s Macka, fresh from the first Sunday of the 2007 bar exams, whose writing skill I admire. There’s the magnificent Atty. Perez, whose latest post entry is about the reason why he wants to be waken up when September ends; in 2005, that is. There’s Rax, the barcrammer at the Bar Exams Forum, who has another take on Greenday’s “Wake me Up When September Ends.”
There’s the Islander in the City, who says he can’t “understand what drives otherwise sane persons to join fraternities and subject themselves to torture; or the prospects of death.” This statement is made in light of the death of another U.P. student, Cris Mendez. In fact, a Senator has called for the abolition of fraternities and sororities.
With all due respect, however, this call is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. It’s like calling for the abolition of the government because of the alleged culture of corruption. A government is, of course, necessary, while a fraternity is not. Nevertheless, no less than the Constitution protects the right of the people to form associations and societies for purposes not contrary to law.
Regulating fraternities may be necessary, but enacting a law abolishing them is, I believe, unconstitutional. The regulation of fraternities, particularly the act of hazing, was the purpose of a law sponsored by a fraternity brother, Joey Lina. The bill became the Anti-Hazing law (full text of R.A. 8049 here).
By creating distractions, like calling for the abolition of fraternities, we are diverting our attention from the investigation and prosecution of those who violated the law. Fraternities, just like a family or the Church, are not perfect.
You don’t call for the abolition of the family because of domestic violence. You don’t call for the abolition of the Church because of the transgressions of individual priests. You call for the prosecution, to the full extent of the law, of those who committed the crime.