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MANILA, Philippines – Calling the attacks “senseless” and “barbaric,” the student government of the University of the Philippines College of Law said it would conduct an investigation related to the two fraternity-related incidents that occurred on campus last week and left around 4 students injured.
Condemning the attacks in a statement on Sunday, June 21, the UP Law Student Government (UP LSG) said it has appointed an ad hoc team “to determine the involvement of its members in the said incident.”
Three UP LSG officers who are also members of the fraternities involved have inhibited from the proceedings. They will be asked to submit their written explanations and positions on the incident as part of the internal investigation to be conducted by the group.
“On the basis of such investigation, the ad hoc team shall deliberate the merits of imposing preventive or penal measures,” the statement read.
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 currently in police custody were allegedly members of the Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity.
The UP LSG also 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,” the UP LSG said.
The group urged the fraternities’ officers and university officials to cooperate in the ongoing investigation by the Quezon City Police Department to ensure “a speedy, transparent, and independent proceeding that will not end in uncertainty as has been the case many times before.”
According to a statement earlier released by UP Chancellor Dr Michael Tan, the first attack occurred around 3 pm on Thursday, June 18. Two students were attacked by assailants wearing masks. The victims were able to escape and were treated for injuries at the University Health Service.
The second attack happened an hour later, when a group of suspects ganged up on the occupants of a parked vehicle one of whom sustained serious injuries.
“The UP Diliman administration condemns these brutal attacks. The use of getaway vehicles shows these attacks were premeditated,” Tan said.
The UP LSG echoed Tan’s statement, saying that the suspects’ use of weapons was “unbecoming” of the fraternities.
“The fact that the perpetrators, who are themselves students, chose to engage in such reprehensible acts in broad daylight shows a blatant disregard of the law and the right of others to security of their persons. Moreover, the use of weapons, masks and getaway cars by the assailants reveal evident premeditation – a display of dishonorable behavior unbecoming of what fraternities claim to stand for,” the group said.
Should the guilt of the suspects be established, the UP LSG said it would support the penalty of expulsion against the students.
The group also urged fraternities and the school administration to put a stop to what it called “senseless and reprehensible acts” of violence.
“We should not accept this culture of violence and impunity simply because fraternity rumbles have formed part of the University’s history… This culture will end only if we are brave enough to end it,” the group said.
It added: “Enough is enough. In words worth repeating, indeed, there is no place for cowards in UP.” – Rappler.com