Death Eaters

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

 

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…

Leave a comment »

Barbarians

I do not feel like mincing words. As many of you probably well know by now, another UP student has been killed in a hazing incident at the hands of his so-called “brothers”.

The 20-year old graduating NCPAG student, Chris Anthony Mendez, was declared dead on arrival at the Veterans Memorial Hospital just after midnight Monday, August 27. Students from the NCPAG and Chris’ friends have reportedly been told not to talk to media by the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs, especially about his affiliations in the University, because this would “blow the incident out of proportion.”

This makes me wonder… In times like this, what would be the “proportionate” response? A life has been taken – must we speak of this in hushed and careful tones? Must we contain our grief and outrage because we know that the perpetrators too are our friends and walk amongst us and we must take care not to offend them? Is there even grief? Is there even outrage? Or perhaps, our silence is due to our collective guilt? After all, aren’t we all somehow responsible by our mere acquiesence to the culture of violence and hate and elitism and patronage that goes on around us everyday, especially in the UP College of Law?

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (7) »

Humahangos

sa ilalim ng talulot

ng pikit niyang mga mata,

umiikot ang kanyang paningin.

tila naghahanap sa dilim

ng daan palabas

ng bangungot

na sumukob sa mundong

itinago ng tulog –

nais tumakas sa

halakhak ng humahabol

na halimaw.

 

di man mahimbing

di rin magising

ang aking mahal.

 

di maimulat ang mga mata.

 

maya maya pa’y bumuka ang kanyang bibig,

bahagya,

at muling itinikom.

wari’y sikretong muntik nang makaalpas.

 

nais kitang sundan

mahal ko,

hanapin ka sa karimlan.

dala ko ay

kandilang di naagnas at

apoy ng dakilang tapang.

 

handa na akong lumusong

sa kumunoy ng iyong katinuan;

kundangan lang sa iyong

pagbalik.

 

humahangos,

butil-butil ang pawis,

at walang pagkilalang nabanaag

nang ako’y iyong tignan.

 

sa susunod, mahal

mauuna na ako

sa lugar na iyong kinatatakutan

at doon maghihintay – 

nang ni isang saglit

di mawalay ang ating malay.

 

kay lungkot mag-isa.

 

 

Comments (2) »

Unfinished

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Not that I don’t have anything to say, but I guess it’s one of those times when the words aren’t coming. Anyway, maybe this will do for now. I’ve been working on this one for some time and I don’t know if I’m done with it already… Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. We’ll see…


“Unfinished”

When all expressions of love have been spent,

What is left but the silent speaking of souls?

A look which says –

“I see you” –

like bare sunlight.

A sigh that says –

“I am here” –

like the shore is for the sea…

Leave a comment »

Who needs big-name celeb endorsements?

Narito ang mga tunay na kwento ng mga tunay na tao para sa TUNAY NA PARTIDO!

Here is Akbayan’s campaign video showing its achievements and advocacies. Special feature: the music video of “Ihahatid Kita” – a Gary Granada composition for Akbayan, performed by progressive Filipino artists Noel Cabangon, Bayang Barrios, Cooky Chua, and Gary Granada.


Comments (2) »

Office of the Propagandist?

There are several indicators that we’re on the homestretch to election day. One of these is the increase, in quantity and audacity, of the black propaganda being hurled at us by other groups. Akbayan has long been on the receiving end of such propaganda so we’ve pretty much seen and heard it all. But some of what we’ve been hearing lately are proving to be quite interesting.

Take for instance, this text message forwarded to me by a friend. Let’s call her Nene:

“From 2004 to present, the 3 Akbayan congressmen authored a total of 49 bills or 16 bills each ave or 5 bills each per year. Walang naipasang batas! Nakakahiya!”

According to Nene, the text came from someone who currently works for Mike Defensor, a some-time assistant secretary at one of the offices under the Office of the President (OP) with the lofty ambition of occupying a top post in the Department of Agriculture post-May.

Compare this with the press statement of Babae Ka! Party-list, one of the dubious party-list groups that we have exposed as a Malacanang-backed front:

‘”Anim na taon na sila sa Kongreso. Nitong nakaraang tatlong taon ay tatlo pa ang kanilang kinatawan pero kahit isang batas ay walang naipasa ang grupong ito. Ngayon sila daldal ng daldal samantalang noong may sesyon ang Kongreso ay hindi sila nagpasa ng batas na magtatakda sa paglabas ng pangalan ng mga nominado,” Dagami said.

“Sa loob ng tatlong taon, yung isang kinatawan nila ay pitong panukalang batas lang ang nagawa. Yung isa naman ay labing-tatlo, at yung isa dalawampu’t siyam nga pero puro kinopya lang naman sa mga panukala ng ibang mambabatas,” Dagami added.’ (Full article)

Sounds familiar, no? Rosalinda “Sally” Dagami is Babae Ka’s Chair and First Nominee who has admitted to media that many members of Babae Ka are employees of the OEA (Office of External Affairs, under the OP). Whilst Dagami and Babae Ka continue to vehemently deny being backed by or receiving funding from Malacanang, the PCIJ has recently released a report on a confidential official OEA memorandum requesting GMA for funding for a campaign to install a “pro-administration party-list bloc” in Congress. Babae Ka, according to that report, is one of these groups.

Now, let’s go to a Letter to the Editor published in PDI on April 21 entitled Akbayan’s Zoo. Here are some juicy quotes:

‘Oh yes, the accreditation of new party-list groups has made Akbayan skeptical, bordering on being panicky. Its leaders are now going berserk for fear of losing precious votes and one or even two seats in the House of Representatives; thus, seeing their perks, in the form of multimillion-pesos in pork barrel, reduced.

These so-called leaders have a tendency to believe that they are the only people on earth who have the skills to organize and educate the people. Certainly they can organize, mobilize and even arouse the masses. However, instead of serving the welfare of the people, they function only to protect the interest of their organizations and ideology. That’s their secret plot.

Akbayan has turned the House of Representatives into a zoo. The “zookeeper” must do something about this.’

The letter sent via email was by one Leonardo Kirk Galanza. A quick Google search of that name will lead you to three sites. One is the online version of the above L2E; another is a webpage listing the officers of a certain fraternity where Mr. Galanza is identified as the National Adviser; and another links to an old, May 5, 2005 news item by Sunstar.com on an unpaid overdue loan undertaken by the Baguio City Government. Mr. Galanza was quoted therein as he spoke in his capacity as “secretariat officer-in-charge” of no other than the Office of External Affairs.

Hmmm… My inner Sherlock smells something fishy! So, I send a text message to Nene: “By any chance, Ne, is the person texting you the anti-Akbayan propaganda named Leonardo Kirk Galanza?”

I’ll give you one guess what her reply is. Clue: It isn’t a “No.”

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. As for me, I only have one question for Mr. Galanza: By “the zookeeper,” who is it that you mean? Kasi kung si Gloria yun, I have to say, bagay sa kanya… 🙂

Leave a comment »

Postsecret.com

Have you heard of postsecret.com?

I think it’s been around for awhile, but I’ve only recently discovered it. The site, a compilation of secrets anonymously sent in by people from around the world, fascinates me. The posts range from the silly and hilarious to the exuberant and inspiring. Many, however, are heart-wrenching and jab at that little spot in your soul that connect you to the rest of humanity.

You should visit and find out for yourself what I mean.

Leave a comment »