The UPSILON SIGMA PHI condemns the IED (improvised explosive device) explosion on September 26, 2010, Sunday before dark in front of La Salle at Taft Avenue, Manila that badly hurt a number of innocent university students. We likewise revile the alleged gang/s that stupidly caused the terrorist-like violent act and turned the culmination of the bar exams, traditionally full of cheer and pomp, into an avenue of violence and excessive show of idiotic machismo.
The incident was patently an act of gangs, and not of fraternities.
The unassailable history of genuine fraternities as opposed to gangs should spell out the difference: Fraternities were established as honorable societies for young men to come together and pool their interests and resources towards the achievement of desirable social norms. Gangs, on the other hand, are nothing but aggregates of criminal minds seeking the right (in their twisted minds) outlet for their evil intent.
Fraternities like the UPSILON have common beliefs, focused principles, and rules consistent with the laws of the land. In their glorious traditions, they have produced national heroes who, in some cases like Wenceslao Vinzons and Ninoy Aquino, gave up their lives in the spirit of self-negation for the greater good of the Filipino people.
Gangs are there for purposes other than noble: violence, crime, carnage, and inhumanity. Wrongfully, these gangs profess themselves as fraternities espousing the brotherhood of lawful men! Time and again, weve seen or even have experienced the work of these gangs: from robbery of valuables to unnecessary and stupid street fights, to acts like what happened last Sunday. These are their works, not those of fraternities. In their desire to escape the rule of law, they cover up for the mistakes of their own kind, no matter how small or how big like hazing to death those seeking membership.
Whats worse is that the authorities and society as a whole have been trapped in the helpless cycle of swift and noisy condemnation after an incident of violence, followed by backdoor negotiations from prominent members of these gangs – which ultimately results in inaction and institutional amnesia. And then, violence erupts anew. When will this cycle end? Is there an authoritative figure out there brave and empowered enough to not just condemn but definitely act on the matter?
We extend our deepest sympathy to all who were hurt in the incident and to their families. Let us work hand in hand in bringing justice to what has happened.
The UPSILON gives its commitment that internally, we seek to distance ourselves from the unfortunate misconception that all fraternities are gangs. We have instituted measures to translate youthful energy into useful activities on campus and in society, instead of pursuing violence like what these gangs have done yesterday. We call on other like-minded and genuine fraternities to join in a concrete movement towards peace and order by self-regulation, policing of our own ranks, and assisting the authorities in bringing the Bar Exam explosions perpetrators to justice. Let us band together and show the Filipino society at-large that there is a difference between fraternities and gangs.
Gregorio Angelo C. Villar
Upsilon Sigma Phi – Diliman