MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian called for the preventive suspension of the entire University of the Philippines (UP) Sigma Rho Fraternity after screenshots revealing the group’s history of hazing circulated online.
Alleged leaked conversations of UP Sigma Rho Fraternity members went viral online Wednesday morning, September 25. The screenshots included photos of a fraternity member who had undergone hazing, a mass of black and blue covering his upper arm. There were also photos of the paddle used to beat the fraternity member up, as well as photos of his so-called ‘brods’ preparing for the hazing ritual.
Gatchalian in a statement Saturday, September 28, said he wanted the entire fraternity suspended – not just those who had already been put on preventive suspension following the viral incident.
“It is disappointing that despite the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, this barbaric act remains to be practiced by fraternities,” Gatchalian said. (READ: What's happening to hazing cases in the Philippines?)
“What is more appalling, alarming and disappointing in the case of Sigma Rho is the fact that those involved include incumbent student leaders of the university,” Gatchalian added.
Among the names mentioned in the leaked conversation was that of UP Diliman University Student Council (USC) Councilor Tierone Santos. He has since been put on preventive suspension pending further investigation.
“Sila na dapat sanang nagsisilbing modelo sa mga kapwa nila estudyante ang siya pang nagiging masamang impluwensiya,” the senator also said.
(They’re supposed to serve as models to their fellow students, yet here they are being the bad influence.)
‘Institutional misogyny, sexism’
A sister sorority on Friday, September 27, condemned not only fraternity-related violence among Sigma Rho members, but also “the institutional misogyny, sexism, and dogmatism” the fraternity is steeped in.
Aside from screenshots of hazing, also going viral were screenshots of fraternity members making lewd comments about women, most of them members of the UP Delta Lambda Sigma Sorority – Sigma Rho’s sister sorority.
Screenshots included graphic photos of women, sent to a group chat whose members were all men.
“There is neither honor nor excellence in inflicting physical or psychological suffering, harm, or injury on anyone under the guise of brotherhood. Neither is there progressiveness nor liberalism in degrading and objectifying women,” the sorority said.
“We condemn how they have maligned our sisters, and their utter disrespect for their supposed friends and fellow students. As an institution of empowered women, we detest all acts of bigotry towards any human being, most especially women, who, to this very day, continuously suffer from the oppression inflicted by the hands of men,” it added.
The sorority demanded an investigation into the incident so that the Sigma Rho members involved would be held accountable. “We demand that anyone who is found guilty be meted out the punishment they rightfully deserve,” the group said.
The UP Law Student Goverment said on its Saturday general assembly it was conducting an inquiry into the incidents. The meeting has not concluded as of this writing. – Rappler.com