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Mara’s personal statement against frat violence

this is from mara baviera (yup, related to prof baviera, grand aunt nya si mam baviera).  she’s my co-worker (kapwa-RA) sa technocracy project (joint project of econ & third world studies)

PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND E-GROUPS AFTER READING. OR BETTER YET, WRITE YOUR OWN STATEMENT! THANK YOU.

I am just an ordinary student in the university. I did know Cris Mendez personally. But I am personally indignant and outraged by the needless and senseless death of a fellow student and the many others before him: Gonzalo Mariano Albert, Ferdinand Tabtab, Roland Perez, Arbel Liwag, Joselito Hernandez, Rolando Abad, Dennis Venturina, Mark Roland Martin, Alexander Miguel Josef Icasiano, Niño Calinao, Den Daniel Reyes and Marlon Villanueva.

The UP Administration has been condemning the criminal acts leading to these deaths and subjecting the suspected perpetrators of these crimes to due process. Well and good. But thus far, what has been done to prevent these deaths? What are the proactive solutions that the UP Administration has undertaken? Subjecting the suspects to due process would not prevent more deaths. The bruises on Cris Mendez’ body hold testament to this. In Philippine legal system which is ridden with fratmen, convictions are unsurprisingly slow and few. Clearly, the issue at hand here is anymore not how to deal with the students who commit these crimes.

The issue is how to prevent these deaths.I’d like to challenge the UP students and the entire UP community to pass on this statement and write your own statements of outrage, or whatever feelings you may have on this issue. Personally, I am at a loss as to why a university such as UP has done nothing after all these senseless deaths. My uninformed guess would be that the university officials, held hostage by congressmen (a great deal of which are obviously fratmen) over the UP budget issue, are too afraid to take action, too afraid to step on the toes of those in high places. Perhaps there may even be too many fratmen among UP officials or in the Board of Regents.

It’s high time that UP students speak up against the violence and the fraternities that espouse this culture. Paraphrasing a popular activist quote: kung hindi tayo ang magsasalita at kikilos sa isyung ito, sino pa? Hindi natin kayang asahan ang mga opisyal ng UP, o ang mga abogado o mga kongresista at senador na lumutas ng isyung ito. Kailangan nating pumusisyon.

The only solution I can think of is a collective NO to the culture of violence in fraternities. There should be no more excuses, no more statements like “kasalanan din naman yan ng mga pumapasok dyan” or “pwede naman kasing hindi ganoon kalakas yung mga palo”, statements which I have heard from UP students. Hopefully, this expression of outrage would make it harder for fraternities to recruit members for as long as they use hazing as a form of initiation. I call on other students to pitch in their ideas and feelings about this issue and

ACTIVELY CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE FRATERNITY VIOLENCE, in your blogs, e-groups and even written statements for organizations and other groups.   We have run out of excuses. Let’s not be afraid to do our part in putting an end to the deaths of our fellow students and friends.

Mara Baviera
Graduate Student
Department of Political Science

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