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University of the Philippines president Emerlinda Roman asks students to cooperate in ending hazing deaths in the Philippines

UP president calls on alumni to end hazing

The Philippine Star

University of the Philippines president Emerlinda Roman expressed her grief and outrage Saturday over the death of public administration student Chris Anthony Mendez.

She also noted that they also “went through a similar ordeal involving the late Marlon Villanueva, a student of UP Los Baños.”

“This  sporadic,  irrational  violence is not only a hideous blot on the university’s record, but a source of great sorrow to individual families,” Roman said.

She is urging the alumni members of UP’s fraternities and sororities “to prevail on their resident members to commit themselves, finally and truly, to ending all practices that could possibly result in loss of precious life,” saying that “such practices are not just dangerously brutal, they are criminal!”

Roman said organizations nurtured by UP “cannot possibly turn a blind eye to them, let alone condone them.”

She told all members of the UP community to assist UP Diliman chancellor Sergio Cao in his investigation.

Meanwhile, the parents of Sigma Rho fraternity members who had been linked to the fatal hazing of Mendez, 20, has sent feelers to the police to cooperate in the investigation. Mendez was a senior public administration student at the UP Diliman, Quezon City campus.

Criminal Investigation Division chief Superintendent Frank Mabanag said Dr. Francisco Cruz was allegedly the one who brought Mendez to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) , where the victim was declared dead on arrival.

Police said Cruz has a son, Miguel Francisco, who reportedly belongs to the Sigma Rho fraternity.

Police investigators said they went to the elder Cruz’s residence in Congressional Village III, but a domestic helper said he had just left.

Mabanag said Cruz’s identity was traced through the plate number of his Toyota Innova (XAV-393), which witnesses said brought Mendez to the hospital.

Police are looking for another Sigma Rho member, Ariel Paul Ante, reportedly the student council chairman of the UP’s college of public administration, because he allegedly recruited Mendez for the fraternity.

Mabanag said they are verifying reports that the fatal hazing was carried out by fraternity members at Pingkian in Barangay Pasong Tamo, Quezon City.  Perseus Echeminada

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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