Last Sunday, between 5 to 5:30 pm, a pillbox bomb exploded during the traditional ‘salubong’ for bar examinees along Taft Avenue. What was meant to be a celebration of achievement turned into a bloodbath of broken dreams. Upon telling my friends of the shocking news, they instantly assumed it was a fraternity-caused incident. And true enough, it was, with reports saying the act was from a Manila-based law school fraternity.
Having signed a college-required agreement NOT to join a fraternity/sorority entering my freshman year and having no desires to be a doctor or lawyer (where the network becomes useful), this incident only taints the abuse of these organizations further. As a UP law professor present at Taft said in a statement:
That night, as we processed the raw information coming our way through various sources, it became clear that it was related to fraternity rumbles between rival fraternities of a Manila-based law school. Some had seen men in black running away a few seconds after the sound of the explosion. Others fed raw information about the rumbles that were ongoing among several fraternities of some of the schools in the university belt. All of us, to a person, in that room, didn’t find the news surprising as much as shocking. Many of us knew just how stupid and senseless fraternities can get when it comes to proving their manhood and their brotherhood to each other but, that night, a new realization came to me–probably also to the others in the room–the savagery of these “greek lettered” “men” who beat each other and others to a pulp had transcended known civilized boundaries.
– Attorney Teddy Te
Like the Hong Kong tour bus tragedy, I am left in anger, shock, and uncertainty. Did this really have to come to the point that these so-called “men” have to go beyond human reason and damage the entire lives of future lawyers? If we already know how senseless fraternities can get in the first place, what then is the solution to stopping their immature mentalities and acts? It was also mentioned in the statement that banning these organizations will only suppress these said acts, obviously making matters worse and escalated further because they are hidden. What then have we become, if we already expect such awful, and ruthless acts from an unnecessary fraternity war?
What irks me even more is that there isn’t much exposure on the matter. It was only an online headline and according to DLSU sources, the explosion site was instantly cleared the next day. You could tell me that it’s a public road, but goddamnit, it’s also a crime scene. No one is dead but lives are damaged, and I have witnessed how catastrophic losing the ability to walk can be.
A bigger issue is at hand, and that is the line professional schools must draw in these fraternities/sorority’s need to prove their ‘camaraderie’ or whatever it is they stand for. Unfortunately, our justice system tends to forget. The irony would be our supposed justice system not resolving an incident which injured future lawyers for life.
But I am only an outsider looking in. It’s best to conclude this post with Atty Te’s wise words:
Other greek lettered societies must also do the right thing: more than just condemning the act and saying that ‘we don’t do things like that”, they must ensure that in admitting people into their ranks, they are absolutely certain that those with issues, those with homicidal streaks, those with anger management problems, those who are in fraternities for the absolutely “wrong reasons” should not be admitted; and if, somehow, some of these have made it into their number, that they are courageous enough to ensure that they are not let out into decent company unless on an extremely short leash.
The culture of “my brother, wrong or right” must stop. There is such a thing as fraternal correction and, if necessary, discipline.