MANILA, Philippines – The ruling student party in the University of the Philippines Diliman expelled its own member, University Student Council (USC) chairperson JP delas Nieves, after he refused to quit from his fraternity which was involved in a recent violent fraternity incident.
On June 18, the day of UP’s founding anniversary, 10 suspects armed with lead pipes and a baseball bat attacked 4 students, who were reportedly members of the Alpha Sigma Fraternity. The 5 suspects, who already posted bail, were allegedly members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity.
“By refusing to resign from his fraternity, we question whether his highest affiliation remains to be the USC, or the fraternity he is a part of. We question whether his loyalty still lies with the students, or with his fraternity brothers. We stay true to our word. Therefore, as of July 2, 2015, USC Chairperson JP delas Nieves is officially expelled from UP ALYANSA,” the party said in a statement. It also called for Nieves’ resignation from the USC.
“We had an agreement. UP ALYANSA and JP signed a contract prior to the last USC Elections that compels him to resign from Upsilon Sigma Phi should the fraternity be involved with an incident of violence,” UP ALYANSA said.
Nieves won as chairperson with 5,130 votes in the hotly contested race in April 2015. (READ: ALYANSA wins big in UP Diliman elections).
‘I will not resign from Upsilon’
Nieves regreted his fraternity was involved in the violent incident but refused to resign, giving assurances he will help bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Titiyakin ko na haharap sa bawat paglilitis ang lahat ng miyembro ng Upsilon na ngayon ay pinaghihinalaang sangkot sa karahasan. Ngunit hindi ako magbibitiw sa Upsilon dahil ako ay patuloy na naniniwala sa adhikain ng aking fraternity na nagsusulong ng kagalingan at paglilingkod ng para sa pag-unlad ng pamayanan.)
(I will ensure that all accused members of Upsilon will face trial. However, I will not resign from Upsilon because I still believe in its goals that promote excellence and service for the betterment of the community.)
Upsilon Sigma Phi is one of the oldest fraternities in Asia and the oldest student organization of UP. Its prominent members include UP President Alfredo Pascual, Armed Forces chief Lieutenant General Gregorio Catapang, former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr, and former President Ferdinand Marcos.
The UP Law Student Government (UP LSG) earlier called on high-ranking university officials who are members of the fraternities involved not to use their influence to cover up the incidents:
“We call for the commitment of high ranking UP officials who are members of the fraternities involved, including UP President Alfredo Pascual and Dean of the College of Law Danilo Concepcion, both from Upsilon Sigma Phi, to ensure, in their utmost capacities, that justice is served and that absolutely no influence is wielded by any officer in the investigation of the incident.” – Rappler.com