#EndFRV: Alleged hazing incident at UP prompts fresh calls to end fraternity-related violence

September 26, 2019 - 2:14 PM
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UP Sigma Rho Frat hazing
Screenshots of posts that feature alleged hazing in the UP Sigma Rho Fraternity renewed calls for an end to fraternity-related violence. (Artwork by Interaksyon/Uela Altar-Badayos)
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The hashtag “#EndFRV,” which stands for “end fraternity violence,” gained traction on local Twitter as Filipinos protest against an alleged fraternity-related hazing involving UP Sigma Rho two years ago.

Yesterday, unverified screenshots of a group chat among young men went viral. The posts featured talks of hitting (referenced in the chat as “pegul”) and a picture of an individual brandishing a long paddle.

A screenshot of a text message that appeared to be a fraternity resident threatening a neophyte was also included, as well as a picture of a heavily beaten neophyte.

The pictures were originally shared by a now-suspended Twitter account named @rhosigrambles, whose posts included the hashtags “endFRV.”

A Twitter user took screenshots of his post and then shared it on her own account, where she denounced the alleged hazing-related violence and added “EndFRV” as a hashtag.

Unified calls against frat violence 

Different organizations, particularly the ones that the accused students belong to, similarly condemned the alleged hazing and released their statements.

UP ALYANSA called it an act that “mirrors the culture of violence” which the state university said has constantly been a witness to.

“While the authenticity of the post is yet to be verified, the content of the leaked screenshots mirrors the culture of violence our University has witnessed time and time again to be perpetuated by these institutions of privilege and power,” part of their statement reads.

“These practices of wanton violence which are conducted for the sake of establishing so-called brotherhood are a constant plague to the safety of every isko and iska,” the student political party said.

It also urged the school administration to actively enforce Republic Act 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 and to give justice to the “long list of unresolved cases of FRV (fraternity-related violence)” within the university.

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Posted by UP ALYANSA on Wednesday, September 25, 2019

 

The UP Diliman University Student Council, which includes Tierone Santos as one of its members, said it will seek accountability and justice in the incident “rooted from the macho-feudal culture pervasive in various institutions and formations.”

“The USC will continue to seek accountability and observe due process in all pertinent cases. We stand firm in prioritizing the voices of our constituents, especially in times when the safety of the students are at stake,” part of their statement reads.

The student organization added that Santos has been placed under “preventive suspension” following the incident.

It will also create a fact-finding team “to ensure full extraction of facts and information” that would help impose possible sanctions to the students involved.

END FRATERNITY-RELATED VIOLENCE: OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE UP DILIMAN UNIVERSITY STUDENT COUNCIL ON THE RECENT CHAT…

Posted by UP Diliman University Student Council on Wednesday, September 25, 2019

 

The UP College of Mass Communication Student Council, where Nacho Domingo — another accused student who acts as the vice-chairperson of the organization — is a member of, also condemned the incident.

“Let it be known that the council does not condone any form of violence, whether in fraternities or other organizations, and especially not among members in its very ranks. The council stands with the people in the fight against the macho-feudal culture in society as a whole,” part of their statement reads.

“Along with this, the council challenges fraternities to remold how they define the principle of brotherhood and to rectify backward interpretations and conventions stemming from it. Let this also be the precedent for removing the culture of impunity embedded in their operations,” it added.

The organization in a more recent post shared that Domingo has been similarly placed in a “preventive suspension effective immediately.”

The UP College of Mass Communication Student Council vehemently condemns Fraternity-Related Violence and the culture of…

Posted by UP College of Mass Communication Student Council on Wednesday, September 25, 2019

 

The UP Law Student Government also decried the incident and said it vehemently condemns “hazing, or any act that inflicts physical or psychological suffering, harm, or injury on a recruit, neophyte, applicant, or member of a fraternity, sorority, or organization.”

It also cited that hazing is not only prohibited under the Anti-Hazing Law of 2018 but is also a “serious misconduct” under UP Diliman’s 2012 Code of Student Conduct.

“Such conduct has no place in the university and should be punished accordingly. A fraternity member or officer who participated in the acts of hazing may be expelled from the university, and a neophyte who allows himself to be subjected to such rites may be suspended,” the organization said.

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Posted by UP Law Student Government – UP LSG on Wednesday, September 25, 2019

 

Twelve years ago, UP Sigma Rho Fraternity was accused of being involved in a violent hazing-related incident that cost the life of a 20-year-old senior public administration student.

Cris Anthony Mendez, a neophyte, was reported to have sustained at least 10 hematomas or localized bleeding outside the blood vessels, according to the medico-legal report as cited by a local news outlet.

Bruises were found on both sides of his chest, knees and thighs but the largest ones were discovered on his arms that measured “at least 50 centimeters each,” the article noted.

His death caused 13 students and members of the fraternity to be sanctioned with administrative charges by the state university.— Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos