Death Eaters

Some comments on different blogs regarding Cris Mendez’s death have grabbed my attention, for various reasons. One is by Barb on, who says:


On prominent Sigma Rho members, former Senate President Jovito Salonga told Prof. Filomeno T. Hilbay in a private conversation before the incident: “One more time a hazing incident happens, I will renounce my frat.” He also said that, “I’m not proud of my association with Sigma Rho.”

The father of University Student Council (USC) Chairperson Shahana Abdulwahid is Court of Appeals Justice Hakim S. Abdulwahid of Sigma Rho batch 1966. The brother of Chancellor Sergio S. Cao is Carlos S. Cao, Jr. of Sigma Rho batch 1978.

First of all, I have to say that if this is true, then it just reaffirms my great admiration for Jovy Salonga. More importantly, this information interests me because to me it explains the reaction of Stand-UP (political party to which USC President Abdulwahid belongs), which to my knowledge is so far non-existent. Does not the most prominent political organization in the UP have anything to say on the matter? (Do send it my way if it has been released. )

I also hope that the fact that Chancellor Cao is a Sigma Rhoan has nothing to do with the virtual gag order on UP students regarding the case… Which leads me to a comment by JM, still on


I hope you try to understand the UP students’ situations for not speaking up about the issue.

We’re all saddened and infuriated about Cris’s death, but the looming threat of revenge from frats who will be indicated by any statement is very far from inviting. The students were kept mum because the case hasn’t been resolved yet, and any statement released by anyone from UP could really blow things out of proportion if found otherwise.

We are trying our best. If you are a UP student, what would you do? We held an indignation rally to show that we sympathize with the family and to show how we condemn frat violence in the university, and also to encourage people who have information to speak up before the authorities.

We are likewise urging the UP Admin to act upon the matter immediately. But the resolution of the case lies not with us, but with the proper authorities.

Thanks. Just airing out my side as a UP student.

Hmmm… Sorry but I am a law student at UP and I don’t understand it. The whole blowing something out of proportion really does not make any sense to me, not even considering sub judice. (I mean, honestly, try selling that line to Cris’ mother, and let’s see just how understanding she would be.) I can’t help but wonder whether people don’t want to talk out of prudence or out of fear. Now that – fear of reprisal – is something that I can actually understand, given that even my classmates from law school have always preferred to talk about certain Sigma Rhoans and however we think of them in hushed tones – especially if its a Sigma Rhoan professor. This in itself it is a sad commentary. Students should not be in fear of violence or harassment from their peers, or unfair treatment from their professors, just because they express contrary beliefs or are otherwise affiliated. Maybe this explains too, why most if not all the official statements that have been released by members of the UP Community have so far refused to actually name Sigma Rho as the frat involved.

And speaking of statements, on my own blog, Anti-hazing mom said:

I have just read the official statemet of the UP Law Student body on the death of Mendez and this is what I have to say: cut the crap!! I have enough of your cry for temperance. This is the only statement I need to hear from you and your orgs: WE CONDEMN HAZING AND WE WILL NEVER CONDUCT HAZING FOR INITIATION RITES EVER AGAIN. Simple and clear, you don’t have to be a lawyer to say that!!!

I agree. It really should be that simple. We don’t need eloquent expressions of indignation or grief, what we need are categorial renunciations of hazing and fraternity-related violence. Not that I have much faith in the word of these people, but that’s beside the point…


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