Students from the University of Makati mobilized by Akbayan youth conducted a candle-lighting event today in front of their school to call for an end to all forms of fraternity-related violence and to demand justice for EJ Karl Intia, A UMak student who was a victim of a recent fatal fraternity hazing.
“We abhor this latest act of violence done in the name of brotherhood,” Akbayan youth said in a statement.
It said while it respect the right of legitimate and bonafide fraternities to organize themselves as valid youth and student organizations, it says it is not supportive of hazing as an initiation rite to accept and pass candidates.
“Beyond being illegal, hazing is rooted in machismo greatly reinforced by violent behavior. It reinforces and reproduce the vicious cycle of violence which regrettably has been part of the fraternity culture and which ultimately betrays supposedly unsullied ideals and principles,” Akbayan youth said.
The youth group added that violence has no place in the realm of youth organizations. “Violence among youth organizations especially those claiming to represent their ideals and aspirations should be shunned. It is not the path towards youth leadership and camaraderie; on the contrary, it is a medieval pathway painted with blood and hatred.”
The group called on the members and leadership of the Alpha Phi Omega, the fraternity accused of the fatal hazing to cooperate with authorities and surrender all those involved in the incident. It also challenged Vice President Jejomar Binay, a card-bearing member of the fraternity to exercise due discretion in the speedy resolution of the issue.
“We do hope Vice President Binay and his fraternity will yield all of their accused brethren and render justice to the Intia family. They must not further tarnish their credibility to the student body by invoking the code of omerta as what other fraternities have done before. We ask them to comply and abide accordingly,” Akbayan youth said.
The youth group also appealed to all legitimate and bonafide fraternities together with their alumni to police their own ranks, reject violence especially hazing as a rite of passage. “A fraternity is supposed to be a union of brothers and sisters united by a common bond and vision. It is supposed to inculcate the values of leadership, friendship and service. Violence can and will never be a moral force to realize this. We do hope all genuine fraternities recognize this.”
The youth group is planning to ask congress to review the implementation of R.A. 8049 otherwise known as the Anti-Hazing law. It is also planning to conduct a national consultation with all genuine fraternities based in the schools and communities with the end view of making them commit to the said law and in transforming them as groups fomenting peace, harmony and academic excellence.
“All is not lost. Genuine fraternities can still regain their good standing in the eyes of the student body. However, before that happens, they must repudiate all forms of violence,” Akbayan youth concluded.