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National

UP college student council, dean file case vs two fraternities over 'rumble'

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- The dean and the student council of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy of the University of the Philippines Diliman filed a complaint against the Alpha Phi Beta and Alpha Sigma, after members of the two fraternities engaged in a brawl at the campus’ Palma Hall.

The complaint, filed before the Student Disciplinary Tribunal on December 18 by Dean Michael Tan and the council, sought the expulsion of those involved in the fracas and also asked UP Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs Ma. Corazon Tan for the preventive suspension of the heads of the fraternities.

The complaint said seven APB members went to the Alpha Sigma hangout, triggering the rumble that left members of both fraternities injured.

Students who witnessed the event “feared that they might be caught in the rumble,” CSSP student council chairman Carlo Brolagda said.  

Brolagda explained that they filed the case because, “Safety of students is of paramount concern for the CSSP student council.”

“It is high time that we end the culture of impunity among fraternities in our university,” he said. “This is merely the first step towards ensuring that violent fraternities do not go unpunished. In future incidents, we will be more than willing to again file cases.”

Meanwhile, university student council chair Heart Dino said members of the body who belong to the two fraternities must also be held accountable.

“It is ironic that fratmen student leaders claim to promote student welfare and at the same time condone their own fraternities’ acts of barbarism and violence. The student body cannot and will not let this pass,” Dino said.

The SDT is expected to conduct a preliminary inquiry and, should it find merit in the complaint, conduct hearings with lawyers from the Diliman Legal Office as prosecutors. The case is expected to move forward in January.

The APB said it will wait for a copy of the complaint before commenting.

The Alpha Sigma has not responded to attempts to contact them.

A member of a different fraternity told InterAksyon the period just before the Christmas break is traditionally marked by rumbles as some fraternities “take advantage of the calm mood, and the coming vacation.”

“It makes it difficult for the fraternity that was ‘hit’ to retaliate, because people are heading home to their provinces” and when classes resume in January, “the enemy’s initial fury has subsided.”

This year was marked by at least four deaths (http://www.interaksyon.com/article/49858/timeline--an-epidemic-of-fraternity-violence0 -- those of San Beda Law freshmen Marvin Reglos and Marc Andrei Marcos, and Far Eastern University students Juan Paolo Nepomuceno and Gerald Martin Ramos -- either from hazing or suspected inter-fraternity violence.

In October, University of Santo Tomas student Joanne Lourdes Reyes was pepper-sprayed and stabbed multiple times inside the FEU campus. Police are eyeing a conflict between rival sororities as the cause of the attack.

In November, a brawl involving Ateneo Law School fraternities Aquila Legis and Utopia left the Whistlestop restaurant in Makati City in shambles.

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