"...NiƱo Calinao was seated on a bench with other UP students. When appellant Ranin neared their bench, he suddenly fired two successive shots at Calinao. The other students ran away as Calinao fell to the ground. While the latter was crawling on the ground holding his stomach, appellant Ranin shot him a third time. Then, appellant Ranin fired a fourth time at the fallen body of Calinao. De Castro tugged on appellant Ranin’s shirt and told him, “Dodong, Dodong, tama na yan, patay na yang bata.

-People v. Ranin, Jr., G.R. No. 173023, 25 June 2008

it took 9 years before a decision could be reached in the death of nino calinao, a senior up journalism student who was gunned down in broad daylight in palma hall on feb. 19, 1999. sure, the court sentenced the hitman to reclusion perpetua, without the possibility of parole. but to this day, the alleged masterminds roam freely. after 9 years.

now that's just brutal. there's no other way to describe it.

and i thought nothing could be more brutal than nino's death.

to what end?

there's trouble in my hometown:

9 npa rebels, 2 cops killed in surigao del norte

last i heard (and one that's not on the news because he's not ces drilon), the suspected rebels took hostage the priest of our town, fr. duarte, who was thankfully released last night. police are now pursuing the rebels who allegedly sought refuge in siargao island.

this takes me back to 15 years ago when skirmishes would often happen when i was a kid. i thought those days were long over; was i wrong.

but why take a priest hostage? take the mayor, the police commander, or whoever in government you wish to abduct, but why take a civilian hostage?

sorry to those who believe in armed struggle but i find it hard to believe there's ideology behind these acts of ransacking government offices, bombing cell towers, and risking the lives of innocent townfolks. to what end?


USC Statement on AS Walk Rumble

USC Statement on the AS Walk rumble

It is unfortunate that fraternity violence, in whatever form, persists despite the high ideals for which fraternities are founded.

It is even more unfortunate that in our University—touted as the training ground for the best and the brightest young minds of the country, bastion of academic freedom and excellence, and home of no less than the Iskolar ng Bayan—fraternity violence has remained so deeply ingrained in its traditions.

As we celebrate our 100 years of existence, we lament this decades-long tradition, and stand witness to yet another of its incidents.

Yesterday morning, the Beta Sigma fraternity reportedly attacked the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity at their tambayan along AS walk. The attack led to a violent rumble between the two fraternities. Professor Agerico de Villa of the Philosophy Department of CSSP attempted to stop the ensuing rumble but was allegedly kicked while doing so. As a result, five members of Beta Sigma were arrested, three were brought to UP-PGH while four members of APO were given stitches.

These incidents are not uncommon and, after all the resulting deaths and casualties, we in the University Student Council have realized that to condemn the act is nothing more than an exercise in futility. It appears that, from the failure of fraternities to arrest the rampancy of fraternity violence, the call falls only on deaf ears.

And so from this day on, we no longer condemn merely the acts of violence but the actors, the active participants who, despite being among the privileged few who were chosen to become Iskolars ng Bayan, failed to exercise good judgment and circumspection, and flagrantly flouted university rules, much less, basic decorum. We condemn the instigators who were expected, but failed greatly, to conduct themselves as gentlemen not only because such is inscribed in their fraternities' tenets but because such is expected from a scholar of the people. Lastly, we condemn the fraternities that find themselves constantly embroiled in these incidences, for their failure to uphold the ideals of brotherhood and for tolerating these criminal acts. For any incident of rumble or hazing that takes place, is a sad testament to their failure to curb a pattern of violence that has ripened into an ugly tradition that indelibly smear fraternities as student institutions and the name of our University.

We urge the witnesses to cooperate with the administration, in order to bring the perpetrators of this incident to justice. We urge the UP administration to identify and prosecute fully and swiftly all the active participants- -those who attacked and those who retaliated, while observing their respective rights to due process.

Nearly ten months have passed since the last incident of fraternity violence that resulted in the death of one of our students. There has been no progress in the prosecution of the Cris Mendez case and we, in the University Student Council believe, that this is due largely to the undue observance of technical rules of procedure that hamper substantial justice. In light of this, we call for the continued review and eventual revision of policies in relation to fraternities, sororities and organizations, particularly the highly judicialized rules of procedure in the Student Disciplinary Tribunal.

In turn, we extend our services to the administration and to the witnesses. We guarantee that we will cooperate and assist in the investigation, that we will ensure that the rights of those accused will be observed, that we will extend protection to the witnesses who will come forward and that we will take steps and attempt to reconcile the differences of the erring fraternities.

We likewise urge all fraternities, sororities and organizations to exercise restraint in similar situations, and to observe at all times, the rules set by the administration governing their conduct.

It is high time for these Greek-letter fraternities, premised on excellence and service, to set aside their differences and work collectively to finally put an end to fraternity violence.

Lastly, we urge the UP studentry to remain vigilant and to continue to renounce all acts of fraternity violence against fellow iskolars ng bayan.

UP has no place for barbarity and violence

Last Tuesday, 24 June 2008, only several weeks into the start of the academic year and just after UP marked its 100th foundation year, the university bore witness once more to the rearing of the fraternity system’s ugly head. Members of the Beta Sigma (BS) and Alpha Phi Omega (APO) Fraternities figured in a violent rumble for which some fraternity members sustained head injuries. While this latest incident of fraternity-related violence may fail to offend the sensibilities of the largely resigned and exasperated UP community, aspects of the incident cannot fail to provide cause for heightened alarm:

According to reports compiled by the UP Diliman Police, the rumble erupted when members of the Beta Sigma Fraternity staged a surprise attack against APO members then at the AS Walk. Considering that the ensuing violence occurred at around 10 a.m. in the busiest part of the most densely populated building in the university, the rumble can only be described as a barbaric display of audacity; and of an utter lack of consideration and sensitivity to the welfare of innocent fellow students. At the height of the commotion, Prof. De Villa of the Department of Philosophy even attempted to break the fight up, only to find himself the victim of assault from one of the malefactors. The rumble was also a product of clear premeditation, because there was a conscious effort on the part of the perpetrators to breach and take advantage of the paucity of security personnel manning the entry points of AS.

As members of the UP community, there is no cogent reason for anyone of us to take the stance of a passive spectator in the midst of this increasingly brazen exhibition of barbarity. We have a duty to defend the integrity of our institution and the safe and secure learning environment which it must strive to create as a matter of moral obligation and imperative. All existing avenues must be activated to send a clear and unequivocal message that any fraternity wishing to engage in such barbaric intramurals in the future shall face the full force of the law and the condemnation of the entire UP community:

1. We call on the Student Disciplinary Tribunal and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs to deal with the perpetrators accordingly and expeditiously;

2. We call on all University, College, and Dormitory Councils to swiftly adopt and implement concrete measures aimed at protecting the welfare and safety of their respective constituencies, in coordination with the University and College administration;

3. We call on the network of fraternity resident members and alumni of Beta Sigma, Alpha Phi Omega, and all other fraternities to commit to helping the police in the investigation and resolution of this case, and to ensuring that such acts of violence shall never again be employed for any reason;

4. We call on all students, faculty members, and administrative staff to take small but significant steps within their personal circles to continuously and emphatically condemn any and all forms of fraternity-related violence in the University.

UP is an academic community. In this enclave of intellectual pursuit, there is simply no space for the kind of barbarity and violence that only unthinking and uncritical individuals subscribe to. We should set a clear example for all fraternities to see. We should not let UP’s one hundred glorious years be tarnished by this cancer in a supposedly healthy concept of brotherhood. If we sweep this incident under the rug again, the cycle of violence will continue, and the level of impertinence and malevolence will also be elevated. It is within our capacity to deal with this latest fraternity rumble in the proper manner – with unmistakable condemnation and steadfast resolve to prevent its repetition.

UP SAWA (UP Student-Led Anti-Fraternity-Related-Violence Watch Alliance)


no classes in up tomorrow, june 23, 2008

but before we celebrate, let's pray for the 700 or so passengers of mv princess of the stars which sank off the coast of sibuyan island, and the many other victims of typhoon frank (fengshen). keep safe everyone!