Thursday, December 17, 2009

Glacy Monique Dimaranan slain in hazing with adviser present--Second death in month for Royal Scout Brotherhood

Teen shot dead in hazing rites; 6 nabbed

By Maricar Cinco
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 17:42:00 11/15/2009

Filed Under: hazing, Crime, shooting
CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines -- A 15-year-old girl, believed to be a confraternity neophyte, was accidentally shot to death during the initiation rites in Biñan, Laguna Saturday evening, the police said Sunday.
Senior Superintendent Manolito Labador, Laguna police director identified the victim as Glacy Monique Dimaranan who died of a single gunshot wound in the head.
Labador said Dimaranan was undergoing a psychological test as part of the initiation rites of the Scout Royal Brotherhood (SRB) when a member, identified as Edwin Salandanan, accidentally pulled the trigger of the gun that he was pointing at the victim.
He said Wency Marfil, 15, another neophyte, reported the shooting to the police at around 6:30 p.m.
Police arrested five members of the confraternity, four of them minors and one elder member identified as Richard John Layacan, 28, and the fraternity's adviser Erwin del Rosario, 33, in an apartment in Barangay San Vicente where the rites were held.
Recovered was a slug of a 9mm pistol and documents allegedly used in the group's rites.
Salandanan and another member were able to escape and remain at large.
In a follow-up operation Sunday morning, police raided three suspected safe houses of the confraternity, also in Biñan, and recovered four woodenpaddles that bore SRB's seal, a .22 rifle, assorted ammunitions and illegal drug paraphernalia.
Labador said the police were coordinating with the Department of Social Welfare and Development regarding the arrested minors.
In October, the fraternity's chapter in Cavite province was also held responsible for the death of 21-year-old neophyte Elvis Sinalia.

Deaths of John Daniel L. Samparada, 18, and Elvis Sinalia

Here is the story link.
A teenage university student died after he underwent hazing in Cavite, the police provincial office (PPO) said Saturday.
It was the second time this month that a fraternity recruit had died in the province due to the violent initiation practice, police records show.
A PPO report identified the victim as John Daniel L. Samparada, 18, a student of Lyceum of the Philippines in General Trias, Cavite, and a resident of Velmont Hills, Pasong Kawayan II also in General Trias town.
Samparada, who suffered severe leg beatings, succumbed at the Estrella Hospital in Silang town were he was brought by his three comrades after the hazing that was conducted at Dasmarinas town.
The victim was a recruit of Tau Gamma Phi fraternity.
Police arrested two of the three fraternity members at the hospital. The third member eluded arrest.Arrested were Carlo Paulo I.
Bartolome, 21, a second-year Hotel and Restaurant Management student of Lyceum-Gen. Trias and a resident of Block 9, Lot 28, Villa Luisa Subdivision, Barangay San Agustin I, Dasmariñas, Cavite, and Joel A. Bandalan, 18, first year HRM student of International School in Bacoor, Cavite, of Block 19, Lot 27, Phase 1, Solar Homes Subd, also in Barangay San Agustin I.
Seized from Bartolome and Bandalan were notepad sheets with “I Love Tau Gamma Phi” inscription.
Investigation showed that the hazing happened at 10 a.m. last Thursday at a ricefield in Dasmariñas town.
Senior members of the fraternity allegedly hit Samparada on the legs with a paddle during the initiation rites in the area they called Bukid.
Samparada complained of breathing difficulty and pains as he, Bartolome, and Bandalan were walking in an area called Liblib in Silang town where they attended the fraternity meeting after the hazing in Dasmariñas.
The trio was on their way to attend the fraternity outing at Villaluz Resort, also in Silang, when the two members decided to bring Samparada to the hospital.
Inspector Rolando Mapile, Silang police investigation chief, said they are looking for 11 other members of the fraternity who were involved in the hazing. He withheld the identities of the members pending their arrest.
Story 2 Link:
Oct 14, 2009
By Abigail Kwok Filed Under: hazing, Crime MANILA, Philippines—Police are hunting down six men after a 21-year fraternity neophyte died in Cavite province last Monday, allegedly due to hazing, the provincial police chief said on Wednesday. In his report, Senior Superintendent Alfred Corpuz said police were looking for the remaining suspects after they arrested eight for the death of Elvis Sinalia last Monday night in Poblacion 2,…

Hazing problems continue in Phillipines

Hazing suspects charged

Three fraternity members were arrested following an initiation rites very recently at Brgy. Jaguimitan, Passi City.

Collared were Julio Layson, 21, Emi Pacardo, 21, and John Rey Falcis, 22, all of Brgy. Man-it, Passi City.
The suspects are alleged members of Tau Gama Fraternity.
They were allegedly conducting initiation rites at their neophytes when members of Passi City Police Station arrested them.
The neophytes were disclosed as Red June Palic, 20, and Garette Dyson Palomo, 18, both of Saligumba St., Passi City.
Three minors were also part of the initiation rites. The teenagers, aged 14, 15, and 17 years old, are all residents of Brgy. Man-it, Passi City.
Police recovered from the crime scene a short bond paper bearing the password and Tau Gama Fraternity’s brotherhood sign, candle, lighter, handkerchief, and a motorcycle with plate number PN2376.
The three suspects are presently detained at the lock-up cell of Passi City Police Station pending the filing of charges against them for violation of Republic Act No. 8049 (An Act Regulating Hazing and Other Forms Of Initiation Rites In Fraternities, Sororities, And Organizations And Providing Penalties Therefore.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Uncle of Karl Anthony Gaudicos, 19, claims he died in a hazing

Story Link:

INVESTIGATORS of Homicide and Arson Section of Bunawan Police Precinct are now scouring for evidence from the crime scene where a 19-year-old was allegedly killed in a fraternity initiation rites.
In a report from Bunawan Police Precinct reaching the Investigation and Detective Management Section of Davao City Police Office, the victim’s uncle confirmed that Karl Anthony Gaudicos, 19, was killed in a hazing.
Based on the statement of Rudy Tangtang Sebaldo gathered by SPO4 Jesus Branzuela, investigator-in-charge of the case, Gaudicos was last seen alive when he talked to his classmate at Holy Cross of Davao College inside the victim’s house in Barangay Gredu, Panabo City the night before he was found dead last Friday afternoon.
The report said the victim invited his classmate to join him during the initiation rites.
The investigator said hazing was established based on circumstantial evidence but he is still looking into the background of the fraternity and its members.
In the earlier report of the Bunawan Police Precinct, security guards of the San Pedro Hospital called 911 after a patient was rushed at the hospital, sustaining several bruises and contusions on  both legs. Gaudicos died after a few hours at the hospital and his body now lies at Angel Funeral Homes along F. Torres Street.
Responding members of Bunawan police accosted three persons to their station for investigation. But the three, who claimed not to  know the victim’s identity and that they merely brought him to the hospital, were later freed.
Written by: Lao , Guy Lorenzo
Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Beta Nu now opposes hazing

Excerpt from site: September 2, 1972: "Final Initiation - This was the day agreed upon by all brothers and sisters to be the final initiation day so as not to disturb the pledgees on their studies in preparation for the mid-term exams, September 4, 1972. It was held at brother Franklin Maletsky's farm in Tumaga, Zamboanga City. It was the best final initiation that we had seen and observed. The plan, the applications and the process were perfectly done. With such great number of applicants only ten passed: Brothers: Neal Gacrama, Oscar Bagsican, Efraem Pabres, Plaridel Marcelo. Sisters: Gilda Belleza, Luisita Garcia, Luz Illustrisimo, Elizabeth Javier, Bernadette Mijares, Georgina Pantaleon."

Burning Issue: Fire Superintendent Wilberto Rico Kwan Tiuousted after hazing inquiry

Moderator: link to this story is broken. Here is excerpt and credit. - Thursday, March 5

MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno has relieved the director of the Fire National Training Institute (FNTI) at Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang, Laguna amid complaints of hazing of Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) trainees.

“We do not condone any form of hazing in any of the police, fire and jail training institutions under the DILG,” Puno said.

Fire Superintendent Wilberto Rico Kwan Tiu, FNTI director, and 11 tactical officers of the institute have been reassigned to the BFP national headquarters to undergo further investigation.

Puno made the move after nine trainees submitted sworn statements to the BFP’s Internal Affairs Service, complaining about physical and psychological suffering or injuries in the hands of some FNTI tactical officers.

Puno appointed Senior Superintendent Richard Villa­nueva, former La Union fire marshal, to replace Kwan Tiu.

The 11 tactical officers were identified as Chief Inspector David Aris, Senior Inspectors Lowyn Amoyan and Orlando Antonio, Inspectors Sonny Cando, Josephus Alburo, Rowella Dinolan, Ellafil Libarnes, Heidi Lyn Virtudes and Eric Sabian, SFO4 Arnel Rojas, and SFO1 Romeo Molina. - By Cecille Suerte Felipe (Philstar News Service, 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

4th class Cadet Jeoffrey Andawi

4 officers relieved over hazing death.
Publication: Manila Bulletin
Date: Monday, January 13 2003


Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jose D. Lina Jr. ordered yesterday the relief of Supt. Nicasio Radovoan Jr., director of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), and three other academy officers for their failure to implement an anti-hazing policy
that led to the death of 4th class Cadet Jeoffrey Andawi last Jan. 5.

Lina named Chief Supt. Reynaldo P. Varilla as the new academy director.

Also relieved were cadet commander Supt. Roman Felix, academy commander Supt. George Rabina, and Insp. Rizalito Gapas, tactical officer of Alpha Company where Andawi belonged and the officer-in-charge on Jan. 5.

The DILG secretary hinted that more heads will roll, including those from the cadet corps, as he calls for institutional reforms in the academy.

Lina also ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the national police to probe the killing to determine the criminal liabilities of those involved and called on Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) authorities to expedite the administrative proceedings against 3rd Class Cadets Jeromy Pulquiso and Darwin Blog-ang.

The two cadets were charged with violating the anti-hazing policy of the PNPA and with grave misconduct resulting to the death of Andawi. Pulquiso is now under investigation by the Silang police.

Lina commended PPSC president Ramsey Ocampo for coming out with a comprehensive investigation report before the one-week deadline.

Lina said the formal summary dismissal proceeding against Pulquiso and Blog-ang will start in about five days. He said he will create a DILG-PPSC committee to monitor the progress of the case. 66 cops dismissed

Hazing Death: Leonard Villa

Fraternity Death Corruption Alleged
The mother of a young man (Leonard Villa) killed in a law-related fraternity (Aquila Legis) beating years ago says she cannot get the judicial system to mete out punishment.  (not on chart)

The first initiation rites in Philippines were held in 1892: some background

The Forum - Jan.-Feb. 2009 - (Vol 10 Issue 1)
What is the legacy of Greek-letter societies?
Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta

In the initiation rites of one well-known brotherhood, a neophyte is brought into a dark room lit by a single candle. There, he is asked a series of questions and oriented toward the aims of the brotherhood, then compelled to undergo ordeals to test his loyalty. At the end of these rites, the neophyte is brought to a table upon which lie a sheet of paper and a bolo. There, he swears an oath in the name of God and country to defend the aims of the brotherhood and signs his name in blood.

This is the initiation rite of the Kataastaasan Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or the Katipunan, as recounted by Reynaldo C. Ileto in his The Diorama Experience: A Visual History of the Philippines. From the first initiation rites held in 1892, membership into this brotherhood soon grew to the tens of thousands, until the cumbersome ritual—replete with symbols taken from the traditions of Freemasonry—had to be streamlined into a simple oath-taking ceremony. The secrets of this brotherhood eventually came to light after the Katipunan was betrayed to Spanish authorities, sparking the revolution that would shape our nation’s destiny.

Today, the tide of public opinion seems to have turned against such organizations, with their shroud of secrecy and exclusivity, and their willingness to shed blood—not necessarily their own—in the name of brotherhood. Earlier in the year, UP Public Administration student Cris Anthony Mendez became the latest name in the list of victims of fraternity-related violence and the public’s rallying cry against Greek-letter societies in general. In the subsequent storm of negative publicity for both the UP College of Law-based fraternity Sigma Rho and the University itself, the questions once again arise: Do fraternities and sororities still have a place in society today? Is brotherhood still worth the price of a life?

At first glance, there appears to be no common ground between the Katipunan and the fraternities under fire today. Their circumstances and the context of their formation are completely different. But Agerico M. de Villa, Associate Professor of the UP Department of Philosophy, begs to differ. He asserts that not only are fraternities, sororities and other similar organizations necessary in developing Filipino society, but they are also inevitable products of UP’s brand of liberal education. The explanation, he says, lies in the answer to a question that occasionally crops up when dealing with fraternities: Why the Greek-letter names anyway?

For this, he says, we need to go back even further. Specifically, to around 600 BC, the time when the ancient Greeks invented two things that were to become the bedrock of the entire Western civilization: democracy and philosophy.

The wisdom of the ancients
“Before the concepts of democracy and philosophy became known, people believed that their lives could only change by a miracle,” says de Villa. “In other words, our destinies were believed to be in the hands of the gods and the deities.” The ancient gods constantly asserted their will upon human beings, often through the intervention and mediation of the ruling kings, emperors and high priests, the gods’ chosen people. Many aspects of a person’s life—from the naming of a child to the time of planting and harvesting—hung on the word of the deities. Those seeking the favor of the gods would occasionally sacrifice chickens or cattle; in extreme cases, the sacrifice of human prisoners or children was required to please the gods. “Everybody believed that they could not live their lives independent of these gods. If someone made the mistake of saying they could act independently of the gods, they would be lucky not to be buried alive.”

Then, through a string of happy historical coincidences, the concepts of democracy and philosophy began to develop in ancient Greece. After the fall of the Mycenaean civilization, there was a need for the remaining Greek states to establish new political and economic structures. Since the land was not conducive to agriculture, people turned to trade, giving rise to a merchant class. Lacking any strong fervor for any religion, there arose instead a kind of civil religion. The monarchies were replaced with city-states, and in Athens, Solon’s reforms established a democratic form of government. The tradition of democracy, along with the practice of debating every point in a discussion, continued for several generations, until the habit of asking questions, using logic and looking at all sides of an issue became second nature to the Greeks.

This curious mindset soon traveled to Persia and through Persia, the rest of the world. “The Greek mindset is open to possibilities,” says de Villa. “They were accustomed to debating and asking questions. They were the first to ask what the universe is made of and what the nature of matter is. Is it any wonder that the Greeks are the ones who invented physics, biology, geometry—the same subjects you still study to this day?” Through the use of science and mathematics, the Greeks developed the technology and infrastructure, including irrigation systems, bridges, highways, even plumbing and sewerage systems, that enabled them to surpass the civilizations in Egypt, Persia and China in a relatively short time. “It was the Greeks who first said that through our own efforts, our capacity to reason, to be inventive and to be innovative, we can control our own destinies independent of any gods and deities.”

Whom God favors
This mindset, according to de Villa, held sway until the reign of the Roman Empire, only to be lost during the Early Medieval period around 400 AD. “Until the Renaissance period, there was a return to the attitude of pre-philosophical times—that human lives are controlled by the gods. In this case, by the God ascribed by the Catholic Church.” During this period, people were to be concerned only with the state of their souls, and any intellectual endeavor that dissented from the Church’s worldview was met with swift, painful and often fatal retribution.

“Nowadays, if you’re raking in money, people will assume you’re into information technology,” says de Villa. “In the time of the Romans, you were a general. During the medieval period, you were either a monarch or a priest.” With the Church controlling the purse strings, coupled with its preoccupation with the building of churches, chapels and cathedrals—structures that will show that man is a superior, creative being made in the image of God—the biggest business of the time was construction. These included painting, sculpting, window-making and, of course, masonry.

After the Crusades, the knowledge of the ancient Greeks began trickling back into Europe through the Crusaders’ and later the merchant classes’ contact with Muslim intellectuals who had kept the writings of the Greeks intact. With this knowledge came scientific concepts, including mathematics, alchemy and physics, that would enable a painter to mix better paints and a mason to create better building materials. “They needed to study the ancient texts of the Greeks in order to improve in their craft. The problem was, anybody caught reading such texts were burned at the stake as heretics, and their books burned with them. So what could they do?”

The guilds and the Freemasons
Hence the birth of the fraternity known as Freemasonry, although there are many other factors leading to the formation of this prominent society, whose true origins are obscured by legends. “Many authenticated historical documents establish that during the Middle Ages there existed bodies of the Masons who built the cathedrals and other public buildings of those centuries,” writes Emmet McLoughlin. “They were called Free and Accepted Masons. Those working at their trade were called ‘operative’ Masons. This designation covered many crafts besides stonemasons, such as carpenters and even tailors. Others—burghers, noblemen and even kings—were gradually initiated into the lodges as ‘speculative’ Masons…”

Concurrent with these were the formation of secret guilds by the merchants. In the centuries that followed, these societies and their members became the guardians and proponents of the ancient knowledge that became the driving force behind the development of Western civilization, knowledge that would otherwise have been lost to the blind ignorance of the masses and the unthinking arrogance of the powers who believed in their divine right to rule.

“The use of Greek letters in the names of fraternities is no accident. Through fraternities, the lessons of the ancient Greeks—that man can control his own destiny through the use of his own powers of reasoning, innovativeness and inventiveness—are kept alive for the rest of civilization,” says de Villa. This practice is rooted in the ancestry of fraternities and sororities and other like-minded organizations. As scholar Manly P. Hall writes: “The ancient philosophers believed that no man could live intelligently who did not have a fundamental knowledge of Nature and her laws. Before man can obey, he must understand…They taught man to use his faculties more intelligently, to be patient in the face of adversity, to be courageous when confronted by danger, to be true in the midst of temptation, and, most of all, to view a worthy life as the most acceptable sacrifice to God, and his body as an altar sacred to the Deity.”

During the Renaissance, more and more people gained access to the writings of the ancient Greeks, spurring a new age of scientific inquiry and humanistic philosophy that eventually led to the Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the end to the absolute reign of monarchs. The impetus toward “liberty, equality and fraternity” manifested in the American and French revolutions, which gave power to the republic through government parliaments. In time, these ideas reached across the oceans to other parts of the world, including a small Spanish colony in the Far East, and were eagerly studied by the intellectuals and reformers there. “Jose Rizal’s idea of a united Philippine archipelago in La Liga Filipina was based on the confederation of ancient Greek states,” says de Villa. “His writings inspired two other Filipino philosophers—Emilio Jacinto and Apolinario Mabini—and in their own writings you can read traces of the mindset of the Greeks, which is precisely what Greek-letter fraternities are supposed to stand for.”

Pinoy fatalism
Then, as now, Filipino thinkers saw the need for a systemic shift in the attitudes of the people in order to enact truly effective change. De Villa points to the icons of Philippine society today, which include such apparently disparate things and persons as the EDSA Shrine, Cory Aquino, Cardinal Sin, Erap Estrada, Mike Velarde, Robert Jaworski and Nora Aunor in the fairly recent past. All these have one thing in common. “They represent the belief of the Filipino that their lives can only change by the stroke of a miracle,” de Villa observes. The lives of Estrada, the perceived bad boy from the slums, and Aquino, the widowed housewife—both of whom managed to become president—have taken on the patina of rags-to-riches, favored-by-the-gods legend, to say nothing of superstars such as Aunor and Jaworski. Even the 1986 overthrow of a dictatorship is proudly touted as an act of God. “A Chinese person with money problems makes plastic yoyos to sell on the street. A Filipino with money problems crawls on his knees in the churches of Baclaran and Antipolo, then goes out to buy a lotto ticket or bet on jueteng. This pre-philosophic mindset is precisely what Rizal, Jacinto and Mabini sought to change.”

As a fraternity, the Katipunan had three goals: to free the Philippines from the yoke of Spain, to teach good manners and good morals and eradicate obscurantism, religious fanaticism and weakness of character, and to promote civic cooperation and support of the poor and defenseless in particular. These goals were immortalized in Jacinto’s Kartilya ng Katipunan and Mabini’s Dekalogo. Unfortunately, things did not go as the original Katipunaneros had planned.

“Most Filipinos believe that their leaders should be like the feudal kings,” says de Villa. “When you died, your king spent for your burial. When you got sick, your king had you cured. When you got married, your king provided for you.” After more than three hundred years of the Catholic Church’s rule, this belief that people are essentially helpless before the fates and must be led by the hand by God’s chosen “kings” has become deeply entrenched—a trait the Philippines shares with other former colonies in South America. “Emilio Aguinaldo, when he became president of the Republic, had a kind of throne constructed on the second floor of his house in Cavite. Behind this throne was a map of the Philippines. He had failed to understand the underlying philosophy in Mabini’s and Jacinto’s writings. Aguinaldo represents the typical Filipino.” The Filipino intelligentsia, according to de Villa, do not.

Philosophia Bios Kybernethes
The revolution against Spain and the war against the new colonizers later had left the Filipino intelligentsia, an embattled group of thinkers, orphaned. Then in 1908, a new kind of university was founded, created in the image of the universities in America, the birthplace of the first Greek-letter organization. According to various fraternity and sorority websites in the Internet, the first Greek-letter organization, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized almost immediately after the birth of the American Republic in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. During its meetings, its members discussed the pressing issues of the day, creating a need for secrecy to avoid discovery by disapproving school authorities. As one of its founders was a Greek scholar, the Phi Beta Kappa adopted a secret grip, ritual and the use of Greek letters, a practice adopted by subsequent fraternities and sororities. During the anti-secret movements in the 1830s, Phi Beta Kappa revealed its secret Greek name, Philosophia Bios Kybernethes, or “Philosophy (is the) guide to life.” Phi Beta Kappa still exists to this day as a scholastic honor society.

“America is a creation of Western civilization, the civilization founded on the wisdom and principles of the ancient Greeks.” According to de Villa, many of those who drafted the US Constitution were Freemasons after all, as were many of the members of the Malolos Congress who drafted the Philippines’ first Constitution. So it is no surprise that, given its ancestry, the intellectuals of the Philippine revolution have found a new home in the University of the Philippines.

“This is why it is at UP that the first Greek-letter organizations in the Philippines were founded,” de Villa says. “UP is a fertile ground for such organizations precisely because of the nature of the UP education.” As a bastion of democracy and philosophy, UP has ingrained in its students and faculty the habit of using their reasoning, inventiveness and innovativeness. “Here in UP, we are willing to fight for our academic freedom. We are willing to die for it; sometimes we will even kill for it. But we will never tell you we can never be wrong.” Fraternities, sororities and similar organizations flourish in this kind of environment. Professor De Villa will go so far as to say that preventing people from forming such organizations in UP would be practically impossible.

It is true that there are far fewer intellectuals willing to teach and serve than there are people languishing in ignorance, but according to de Villa, as long as the ideals are kept alive by the Filipino intelligentsia, our country still has a chance.

The price of brotherhood
Over the decades, fewer and fewer fraternity members are taught the real roots of their organization. The usual enticements for joining a fraternity nowadays include gaining a place in a kind of snob society and the promise of a social network that would secure one’s future career—things that do not exactly lead to the ennobling of the human spirit. In the public mind, fraternities have been equated with brawling street gangs, regardless of whether they are based in UP or not. Joining a fraternity has become a game of Russian roulette, and the names of those who have lost have fed media frenzies for years.

According to the GMA News Research team, those who have died due to hazing include Gonzalo Mariano Albert of Upsilon Sigma Phi in 1954; Ferdinand Tabtab of Alpha Phi Omega in 1967; Arbel Liwag in 1984; Joselito Hernandez of Scintilla Juris in 1992; Mark Roland Martin of Epsilon Chi in 1995; Alexander Miguel Icasiano of Alpha Phi Beta in 1998; Marlon Villanueva of Alpha Phi Omega in 2006; and Cris Anthony Mendez of Sigma Rho in 2007. Those who have been killed in rumbles include Rolando Perez of Upsilon Sigma Phi in 1969; Rolando Abad of Alpha Phi Omega in 1977; Dennis Venturina of Sigma Rho in 1994; and Den Daniel Reyes of Alpha Phi Beta in 2000. Even non-members are not spared: The only time Niño Calinao was involved with a fraternity was when he was mistaken for a member of Scintilla Juris and gunned down in 1999. If fraternities today are known only for their lethal initiation rites and violent rumbles, there is perhaps a good reason for it.

Every secret society since the dawn of time has had initiation rites, designed to protect the teachings of the society from the undeserving. Later, besides the need to protect the teachings, there was also the need for the society to be able to trust its members, especially during the period when not being able to trust even one of your brothers led to a scorching death for everyone concerned. “[The initiation rites of a group] boils down to this: You should be prepared to die so that others within the community will not die,” says de Villa. An initiate of old would be blindfolded, brought to the edge of a bridge and told to jump. A willingness to jump meant a willingness to sacrifice oneself rather than betray the brotherhood. Trust in your brothers, something an initiation rite is supposed to instill, can spell the difference between life and death.

Arguably, the circumstances today are far different. With freedom of association enshrined in the Constitution, there is no need for such secrecy. What happens instead during initiation is hazing, defined in the website as “any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate”.

Hazing is a problem in all organizations, not just Greek-letter societies, and is not limited to Philippine fraternities. In fact, journalist Hank Nuwer produced a book in 1990 entitled Wrongs of Passage based on his research on the deaths and injuries caused by hazing among college fraternities and organizations in the US.

There was a time when fraternity initiations weren’t always so harsh. Top fashion designer Jose “Pitoy” R. Moreno (BFA’51), an alumnus of the Upsilon Sigma Phi, recalls his own initiation period: “The master brought us to the Ideal movie theater in Avenida, where the film ‘The Unfinished Dance’ was being shown. After the movie, when the curtain came down over the screen, our master told us to climb up onstage, announce to the audience ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we will finish the unfinished dance!’ and perform ballet moves. We were chased off by the security guard.” Another time, his master brought him to a room in the Philippine General Hospital, where they had to enter via the window. The room housed several cadavers, one of which Moreno was forced to kiss.

Dr. Rodolfo L. Nitollama (BS’71), also an Upsilon alumnus and alumnus as well of the UP Medicine-based Phi Kappa Mu fraternity, relates: “The initiations in the Upsilon were known to be one of the longest and toughest among the UP frats. Due to the length of the recruitment period, a lot of neophytes eventually ‘quit’ and an unsavory stigma was usually reserved for these ‘quitters’.”

There are exceptions, though. “I quit every day,” Moreno recalls laughingly. “In Upsilon, if you get rejected just once, you’re out. I had 32 rejections.” That he actually managed to finish the initiation period was thanks to his being the youngest and smallest of his batch as well as the only Fine Arts recruit at the time, and to his protectors, who included Salvador Laurel and Gerry Roxas.

Engr. David M. Consunji (BSCE’46; LLD’93), Chairman of the Board of DM Consunji, Inc. and alumnus of the UP Engineering-based Beta Epsilon fraternity, remembers a brother who was made to roll a ten-centavo coin up the steps of a building using only his nose. “It took him all day. He ate there, slept there, went to the bathroom there.” Consunji himself had to count every single window in their building.

With regard to whether hazing is practiced in the fraternity, a Beta Epsilon alumnus who requested anonymity, says, “Lahat naman ng frats meron.”

 For some fraternities—even the Phi Kappa Mu, Nitollama recalls—there was a certain amount of ceremonial paddling involved, but none were as brutal as the hazing that had allegedly killed Mendez, although Moreno still recalls the neophyte who died of a ruptured appendix, an incident that tossed Upsilon into the same hot water Sigma Rho is in today.

Rebels without a cause
Humiliating and arduous as the initiation rites were, casualties were rare. According to de Villa, the nature of fraternity initiation rites shifted toward the extremes during Martial Law in the 1970s. General Order No. 5 declared illegal any gathering of five persons or more, which forced all UP organizations, except the UP Student Catholic Action which was under the protection of Jaime Cardinal Sin, into retirement.

“Fraternities suddenly had a monopoly on student organizations. With such a huge market of potential members, each fraternity came up with its own gimmicks to entice membership.” One of these gimmicks is the now-famous Oblation Run of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. Others were far worse as fraternities competed with one another over which one was “better”; in fact, de Villa recalls incidents in the late 1970s of UP fratmen who kidnapped the son of a public official for ransom and ended up stabbing their victim to death, while other UP fratmen were charged with raping two girls and killing their boyfriends. The need for secrecy in order for a fraternity to slip through the net of Martial Law also played a part, although the excesses were equally caused by too many members, too much booze and narcotics, and too little control.

The rumbles and inter-fraternity wars are also part of the negative image of fraternities in general. Dr. Jesus U. Socrates (BS’69cl; MD’73), a member of the UP Medical Alumni Society in America and alumnus of Phi Kappa Mu, recalls: “As a college student in UP Diliman, I witnessed two fraternities hurling stones at each other in front of the Vinzon’s Hall. Some of my classmates proudly showed me their fresh third-degree intentional burns that marked them as fratmen. On my last Lantern Parade, Rolando Perez became a victim of a fraternity rumble—clubbed on the head to death with an iron pipe. I was in the fourth pavilion of the Arts and Science building when I heard the threatening voices of one frat group hunting down members of another, seeking vengeance. [Back then], there was no incentive for me to even think of joining a fraternity.”

Given all this, is it any wonder then that most non-frat people feel outrage at being called the barbarians by these groups? “During the medieval period, the term ‘barbarian,’ as opposed to the members of the secret brotherhood, meant the people who were only beginning to be introduced to civilization,” says de Villa. “Literal barbarians [were] those who didn’t know the unspoken rules of city life, rules established by men based on their capacity to reason” and form social contracts necessary to hold together a civilization. In that sense the term is obviously no longer appropriate today.

Whom the gods favor
“It’s disappointing how a kind of elitism has developed among our fraternities,” de Villa says. It is the same kind of elitism fostered by the Church and other organized religions, what he calls “the chosen people” syndrome.

Consunji phrases it more bluntly: “Filipinos are mahambog. It’s something our educational system has failed to cure. It’s always ‘we’re better than you,’ whether it’s between tribes, regional groups, professional associations or any other group.” Humility, he adds, is one other thing a fraternity is supposed to teach a young neophyte, beginning with the initiation period and lasting the rest of his life—to be humble enough to know that there are things you can learn from all your brothers, and things you can teach them in turn.

“This ‘chosen people’ syndrome among fraternities needs to be corrected,” de Villa says. “If fraternities forget their historical context, they will soon destroy one another. They will be so preoccupied with competing with one another that they will reach the point where the only thing they have in common is that they are all wrong.”

Not all is lost, however. There are still fraternities that remember their purpose. Oddly enough, certain college-specific fraternities such as the  Beta Epsilon fare a little better perhaps due to their commitment to a particular craft, a throwback to the guilds of old. “A medical fraternity is unique compared to undergraduate fraternities,” Socrates adds. “It is a homogenous mixture of students as far as academic, extra-curricular and professional interests are concerned. What you look forward to in a medical fraternity is a college experience among brothers who are striving for the same goal to become the best physicians they can be.”

Consunji also recommends that the fraternities be managed well, a task that ought to be done by the university administration and the faculty advisers of each fraternity. “Young men have a lot of energy [that] the University can harness,” he says. “As of now, [they] are not being managed at all, which is why you have cases such as Mendez and Sigma Rho.”

De Villa believes that peace between fraternities is possible. More than possible, even. In his college days, he recalls regular get-togethers with friends from different fraternities—and De Villa himself an UPSCAn—in order to talk and play poker. These friends, even those members of fraternities that were constantly at each others’ throats, called each and everyone in that gathering ‘brod.’ He also remembers an inter-fraternity group in the 1970s called Tanglaw, founded by Clarence Agarao who became a human rights lawyer and was killed several years ago. Fraternity members of Tanglaw were Pi Omicron, Pi Rhoxie [sic], Upsilon Sigma Phi, Beta Sigma, Sigma Rho, Kappa Epsilon, and Alpha Phi Omega—a remarkable thing considering that some of these fraternities, such as Upsilon and Beta Sigma, were warring with each other back then.

Decades later, the spirit of Tanglaw continues in the UP Barkadahan, a golf group consisting of alumni of different UP fraternities who regularly hold  tournaments and who address one another as “brod,” no matter what fraternity he came from. The UP Barkadahan is proof that the spirit of brotherhood can outlive the members’ life inside the University.

“[True brotherhood] can happen,” De Villa says. “I have actually seen it happen.”

Hall, Manly P. An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Research Philosophy (1977). Los Angeles: The Philosophical Research Society (21).

McLoughlin, Emmit. Introduction. A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (1970). By Arthur Edward Waite. New York: Wing Books (xxxiii, xxxiv).

Nuwer, Hank. Wrongs of Passage: Fraternities, Sororities, Hazing, and Binge Dinking. Bloomington, Indiana, USA: Indiana Univ Press, 1999.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Understanding the Death of Cris Mendez

Link to tributes page

Background on Cris's death

Hazing discussion

The death of Jan Angelo Dollete


7 charged in hazing case as cop turns state witness

By Felipe V. Celino
Visayas Bureau

First Posted 17:12:00 07/13/2007

Filed Under: Crime, Law & Justice,Crime

ROXAS CITY -- One year after an engineering student died in fraternity initiation rites, the Capiz Provincial Prosecutor's Office has recommended the filing of homicide charges against seven persons linked to the incident. But a policeman present in the fatal hazing escaped being charged criminally by turning state witness.

Assistant provincial prosecutor Romulo Gotico, in a resolution released Friday, also recommended the filing of charges against the seven for violation of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Act for the death of Jan Angelo Dollete during the initiation rites on May 6, 2006 held by the Alpha Phi Omega (Apo) Fraternity.

Dollete, a resident of Milibili, Roxas City, and some of those accused in his death had studied at the Capiz State University.

Gotico said he found probable cause for homicide and violation of anti-hazing law against seven of the 13 persons charged by police.

The seven were identified as Christina Dyna Baldisimo, a teacher at the national high school in Sapian, Capiz; Phel Raff Patricio of President Roxas town and a student at CSU; Dinkee Mandar of Punta Tabuc, Roxas City; Dexter Alvarez of Loctugan, Roxas City; Ramir Bula also of Loctugan; Deneo Machado, a resident of Roxas City and manager of RCL Marketing here; and Archie Durana of Salgan, Maayon, Capiz.

The prosecutor cleared six other persons initially charged by Task Force Dollete. They were Sylvester Bellosillo, Joel Bellosillo, Christina Paula Fabros, Archie Denolo, Carlette Caldeo-Pretta, and Jesus Stephen Honrado alias Steve Honrado.

Police Officer 2 Teodorico Lacson, a member of the APO fraternity and the Mambusao police present in the hazing, was initially implicated in the case but charges against him were dropped when he decided to turn state witness, said Senior Police Officer 2 Emmanuel Ochavo, head of Task Force Dollete.

Gotico said there was no doubt that a final initiation ceremony was held at the hilltop of Sitio (sub-village) Busay, Poblacion Sapian, Capiz on the evening of May 6, 2006.

The prosecutor added that the death of pledgee Dollete due to severe contusions all over the body could not have been inflicted by one man alone but by many.

The prosecution's main witness, Lacson, identified the seven respondents as having participated in the hazing.

The Death of Emerson Berry, Jr. Source = Cebu Daily News

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Hazing death troubles Capiz family

Cebu Daily News
First Posted 13:06:00 03/10/2009

Filed Under: Crime, Schools, Police

Roxas City, Philippines — Three years after 21-year-old engineering student Jan Angelo Dollete died in a fraternity hazing in Sapian town, a student from Pilar municipality, in the first district of Capiz, died last week due to hazing.

Emerson Berry Sr. of Barangay (village) San Ramon, Pilar, is crying for justice for his son Emerson Jr., 16, who died on March 5, four days after he was taken to Malbog District Hospital in Balasan, Iloilo.

The older Berry at first thought that his son got ill due to a minor kidney complication. But he later discovered several contusions, more particularly on the buttocks, allegedly caused by the paddle used during the hazing rite.

He had sought the help of authorities to seek justice for his son.

Emerson Jr. was a fourth year high school student of the Casanayan National High School in Casanayan village in Pilar, Capiz.

Ronilo Tiu, the school principal, said he belatedly learned that Emerson Jr. was recruited by somebody to join the Beta Gamma Rho Fraternity last January. The hazing rites, according to Tiu's source, was conducted in a resort in Sitio (district) Nabitasan in Balasan town.

Tiu said he was not aware of fraternity activities in his school as he started working as principal only last month.

Inspector Nasser Canja, Pilar police chief, confirmed reports that a student from his town died due to hazing.

He said he was coordinating with the police chief of Balasan since the place where the alleged hazing took place was outside of his jurisdiction. Inquirer

The Law in the Philippines



Be enacted by Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Hazing as used in this Act is an initiation rite or practice as a prerequisite for admission into membership in a fraternity, sorority or organization by placing the recruit, neophyte or applicant in some embarrassing or humiliating situations such as forcing him/her to do menial, silly, foolish and similar tasks or activities or otherwise subjecting him/her to physical or psychological suffering or injury.
The term organization shall include any club or the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Military Academy, or cadet corps of the Citizen’s Military Training, or Citizen’s Army Training. The physical, mental and psychological testing and training procedure and practices to determine and enhance the physical, mental and psychological fitness of prospective regular members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police as approved by the secretary of National Defense and the National Police Commission duly recommended by the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Director General of the Philippine National Police shall not be considered as hazing for the purpose of this act.
SECTION 2. No-hazing or initiation rites in any from or manner by a fraternity, sorority or organization shall be allowed without prior written notice to the school authorities or head of organization seven (7) days before the conduct of such initiations. The written notice shall indicate the period of the initiation activities which shall not exceed three (3) days, shall include the names of those to be subjected to such activities, and shall further contain an undertaking that no physical violence be employed by anybody during such initiation rites.
SECTION 3. The head of the school or organization or their representatives must assign at least two (2) representatives of the school or organization, as the case may be, to be present during initiation. It is the duty of such representative to see to it that no physical harm of any kind shall be inflicted upon a recruit, neophyte or applicant.
SECTION 4. If the person subjected to hazing or other forms of initiation rites suffers any physical injury or dies as a result thereof, the officers and members of the fraternity, sorority or organization who actually participated in the infliction of physical harm shall be liable as principals. The person or persons who participated in the hazing shall suffer.
a.) The penalty of reclusion perpetual if death, rape, sodomy or mutilation results therefrom.
b.) The penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period if in consequence of the hazing the victim shall become insane, imbecile, impotent or blind.
c.) The penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period if in consequence of the hazing the victim shall have lost the use of speech or the power to hear or to smell, or shall have lost an eye, a hand, a foot, an arm or a leg shall have lost the use of nay such member shall have become incapacitated for the activity or work in which he/she was habitually engaged.
d.) The penalty of reclusion temporal in its minimum period if in consequence of the hazing the victim shall become deformed or shall have lost any other part of his/her body, or shall have lost the use thereof or shall have been ill or incapacitated for the performance of the activity or work in which he/she has habitually engaged for a period of more than ninety (90) days.
e.) The penalty of prison mayor in its maximum period if in consequence of the hazing the victim shall have been ill or incapacitated for the performance of the activity or work in which he was habitually engaged for more than thirty (30) days.
f.) The penalty of prison mayor in its medium period if in consequence of the hazing the victim shall have been ill or capacitated for the performance of the activity or work in which he was habitually engaged for ten (10) days or more, or that the injury sustained shall require medical attendance for the same period.
g.) The penalty of the prison mayor in its period if in consequence of the hazing the victim shall have been ill or incapacitated for the performance of the activity or work in which he was habitually engaged from one (1) to nine (9) days, or that the injury sustained shall require medical attendance for the same period.
h.) The penalty of prison correctional in its maximum period if in consequence of the hazing the victim shall sustain physical injuries, which do not prevent him/her from engaging in his habitual activity, or work nor require medical attendance.
The responsible officials of the school or of the police, military or citizen’s army training organization may impose the appropriate administrative sanctions on the person or persons charged under this provision even before their conviction.
The maximum penalty herein provided shall be imposed in any of the following instances:
a.) When the recruitment is accompanied by force, violence, threat, intimidation or deceit on the person of the recruit who refuses to join;
b.) When the recruit, neophyte or applicant initially consents to join but upon learning that hazing will be committed on his person, is prevented from quitting.
c.) When the recruit, neophyte or applicant having undergone hazing is prevented from reporting the unlawful act to his parents or guardians, to the proper school authorities or to the police authorities, through force, violence, threat or intimidation;
d.) When the hazing is committed outside of the school or institution; or
e.) When the victim is below twelve (12) years of age at he time of hazing.
The owner of the place where the hazing is conducted shall be liable as an accomplice, when he/she has actual knowledge of the hazing conducted therein but failed to take any action to prevent the same from occurring. If the hazing is held in the home of one of the officers of members of the fraternity, sorority, group, or organization, the parent shall be held liable as principals when they have actual knowledge of the hazing conducted therein but failed to take any action to prevent the same from occurring.
The school authorities including faculty members who consent to the hazing or who have actual knowledge thereof, but failed to take any action to prevent the same from occurring shall be punished as accomplices for the acts of hazing committed by the perpetrators.
The officers, former officers or alumni of the organization, group, fraternity or sorority who actually planned the hazing although not present when the acts constituting the hazing were committed shall be liable as principals. Officers or members of an organization, group, fraternity or sorority’s adviser who is present when the acts constituting the hazing were committed and failed to take any action to prevent the same from occurring shall be liable as a principal.
The presence of any person during the hazing is prima facie evidence of participation therein as a principal unless he prevented the commission of the acts punishable herein.
Any person charged under this provision should not be entitled to the mitigating circumstances that there was no intention to commit so grave a wrong.
This section shall apply to the president, manager, director, or other responsible officer of a corporation engaged in hazing as a requirement for employment in the manner provided herein.
SECTION 5. If any provision or part of this Act is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the other parts or provision thereof shall remain valid and effective.
SECTION 6. All laws. Orders, rules of regulations, which are inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of this Act, are hereby amended or repealed accordingly.
SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.


Approved: June 07, 1995