Danilo Concepcion is president of the University of the Philippines and a member of the heavily criticized Upsilon Sigma Phi. This puts him in a difficult position as his fraternity brothers are being tagged in a leaked online conversation condemned by many.
Concepcion recently aired his dismay over the chat transcript’s disturbing content as Upsilon Sigma Phi celebrates its month-long centennial anniversary.
The Upsilon scandal, dubbed as #Lonsileaks, contains messages of support for the bloody Martial Law years, assault on women and genocide of indigenous people.
The uproar against these views and Upsilon itself first started online, and then soon translated into protest gatherings inside UP campuses.
“It personally pains me for my fraternity, which is celebrating its Centennial, to have been associated with these posts. They do not represent what we have stood for all these years, as they bring us back to the darkness rather than the light,” Concepcion said.
Without admitting to any fault, he called on his brothers to investigate the matter and vowed that he will not get involved should any of them is found accountable.
“Let me be absolutely clear about this: I will not protect any fraternity brother who may be found culpable of these kinds of offensive acts. I call on my fellow Upsilon alumni to support me in this position, so we can bring the fraternity forward into a new and more progressive century,” he said.
Upsilon argues that there is a “concerted effort” to destroy its reputation since the controversy blew up days after their festivities last Sunday, November 18.
Last November 20, 2018, an anonymous source posted unverified screenshots of an alleged conversation containing various…
“These postings are being attributed to a few students who are members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi. The student members of the Fraternity take these accusations very seriously and will not tolerate members espousing such backward, misogynistic, and discriminatory views,” it added.
Upsilon similarly tells an ongoing internal probe and results of it will be coordinated with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
Three of its members, Yael Toribio, Juan Carlo Tejano and Ian Serrano, previously issued separate statements on Facebook that denounced the messages conveyed in the screenshots. But these were deleted immediately after.
Critics, who observed a pattern in the statements, were able to make copies prior to being taken down.
"This was not the Upsilon I joined". Might just be me, but with statements coming out at roughly the same time, with roughly the same outline/messages, it seems more of a concerted effort to save the face of the fraternity instead of a concerted effort to seek accountability.
— Viko Fumar (@VikoFumar) November 21, 2018
Serrano, meanwhile, is the only Upsilon member who declared his resignation from the group.
On other fraternity-related incidents
Concepcion also mentioned the recent violent conflict between Upsilon and Alpha Phi Beta, another fraternity in UP.
Meanwhile, the dean of the College of Social Sciences ordered the removal of Upsilon’s exhibit, which is scheduled to stay until December 7, from the building’s lobby following the brawl.
LOOK: Letter addressed to CSSP Dean calling for the removal of the Upsilon exhibit.
Dean Abrera told the Council that the exhibit of Upsilon Sigma Phi, which was scheduled to stay until December 7, will be removed from AS Lobby today. #EndFRV#EndImpunity#SafeSpacesNOW pic.twitter.com/O1MuW0MSE1
— CSSP Student Council (@CSSPcouncil) November 23, 2018
It’s uncertain as of writing if participants are identified and dealt with.
Amid these recent spate of fraternity-related incidents, Concepcion said that his office will provide “protection and assistance” for those who feel threatened.
“To anyone who may feel personally threatened or aggrieved by these recent incidents, I am offering the protection and assistance of my office in seeing to it that your case is attended to, that your safety and security are assured, and that justice is served,” he added.
President’s statements found wanting
UP alumni and students, however, did not find Concepcion’s attempts to assure the university community of his commitment to address fraternity-related problems that hounded the state educational institution for years.
A) Concrete steps from DaniCon in his capacity as President
B) Resolution for conflict of interest because of his dual identity as an admin and as a brod
C) Immediate relief for the present threat to security of the students https://t.co/uYrlHVOKIT
— JM Lanuza (@lanuzer) November 23, 2018
It’s frustrating how UP, which prides itself on HONOR & EXCELLENCE, not only has these abhorrent monsters for students, but is also led by the same cowards. Yael is silent. Chancellor Tan prioritizes donations over justice. EVP Herbosa negligent. Danicon has no concrete solutions
— Marela Aryan Balagot (@maantok) November 23, 2018