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MANILA, Philippines – The head of the De La Salle-College of St Benilde (DLS-CSB) urged Benildeans to stop joining fraternities, and assured them that school officials are taking “concrete steps” to make the campus “more secure.”
DLS-CSB President and Chancellor Dennis Magbanua, who called the fraternities “gangs,” made the appeal in a letter to students on Wednesday, July 2 – 4 days after a fraternity hazing killed one of the college’s students and injured 3 others.
“Just say ‘no’ to fraternities when they recruit you. When you say no, you will be a victor and not a victim,” Magbanua wrote. The college strictly prohibits fraternities and sororities.
Magbanua, a Lasallian brother, said the school will not allow the name of Brother Benilde – a saint – “to be tarnished by any group that uses violence in order to form a brotherhood.”
At least 4 students of DLS-CSB were involved in a hazing ritual of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity on Saturday, June 28. (READ: St. Benilde student dies in suspected hazing incident)
Guillo Cesar Servando, who died from the ritual, and John Paul Raval, Lorenze Agustin, and another 17-year-old man were brought to a boarding house in Makati around Saturday afternoon for the initiation rites. (READ: Makati police confirm Tau Gamma Phi hazing site)
After the initiation, they were brought back to One Archer’s Place along Taft Avenue in Manila. From there, the students called Patrol 117 for help. They were rushed to the Philippine General Hospital, but Servando was pronounced dead on arrival.
At least 11 suspects are believed to be behind the hazing ritual. (READ: Binay to hazing suspects: You can’t hide forever)
The school is still conducting its own investigation of the incident, and individuals involved “will be given due process and will be meted out appropriate sanctions,” Magbanua said.
Below is Magbanua’s full letter to the Benildean community:
This Is Our House
A Letter to Benildean Students on the Recent Hazing Incident
My Dearly Beloved Students,
We extend our sympathies to the Servando family and our prayers to the families of our students who were also injured due to hazing.
Our school does not condone any formation of fraternities. They are not welcome here.
This is our house, not theirs.
These gangs are not allowed to use the hallowed name of our school. Brother Benilde is a saint and we will never allow the name of Benilde to be tarnished by any group that uses violence in order to form a brotherhood.
Our school will not stand idly by and let injustice happen. Facts are being unearthed to shed light on what has happened. Individuals who will be discovered to be involved with the recent hazing incident will be given due process and will be meted out appropriate sanctions.
Just say “no” to fraternities when they recruit you. When you say no, you will be a victor and not a victim. We are currently taking additional, concrete steps to make this home of ours more secure.
Being Benildean is about:
Brotherly Care not Brutal Hazings
and Real Friendships not Ruthless Frats.
Therefore, choose God not Gangs.
In Saints La Salle and Benilde,
BR. DENNIS M. MAGBANUA FSC
President and Chancellor
02 July 2014
CHED: Regulate recruitment
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in a statement Wednesday said it “condemns in the strongest terms” the recent hazing incident and the death that resulted from it. (READ: Aquino condemns hazing: It ‘escapes any logic’)
All higher education institutions, CHED said, should implement measures to regulate recruitment and initiation activities. They should also be aware of their “serious responsibilities and duties” in upholding the Anti-Hazing Law. (READ: College students call for review of Anti-Hazing Law)
Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law states “that no physical violence be employed by anybody” during initiation rites. It imposes a maximum penalty of life imprisonment if the hazing resulted to death, rape, sodomy, or mutilation.
“The Commission calls upon the officials of the College, the officers and members of the fraternity to undertake with utmost urgency all proper and necessary measures to ferret out the truth, investigate with expediency the circumstances leading to the senseless loss of a young life. Perpetrators and persons responsible should be properly penalized,” CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said in the statement. – Rappler.com