MANILA, Philippines – The president of the University of the Philippines (UP) broke his silence on the recent fraternity-related incidents that occurred on the UP Diliman campus that allegedly involved students from his own fraternity.
“I condemn in strongest terms any form of violence, particularly those happening inside the university,” UP president Alfredo Pascual said in a letter to Diliman’s university student council (USC) dated July 7 and made public on Thursday, July 9.
He added: “I consider these as grave and deplorable incidents that offend our community’s core values of honor and excellence, as well as myself being an alumnus member of a fraternity.”
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, one of the oldest fraternities in Asia and the oldest student organization in UP.
It has no chapters outside UP, and one of its prominent members is the UP president himself.
No appeal to get involved
The USC sought Pascual’s statement on the heels of an impeachment case filed against its chairperson JP Delas Nieves, who is also a member of Upsilon.
Nieves refused to resign from his fraternity even if he heads the council leading the investigation into the incident.
Pascual, however, reiterated in his letter that, under existing rules, he is “quite removed” from the management of student discipline, which should be under the authority of the chancellor of the constituent unit.
“I only get involved when there is an appeal and there is none as of this writing,” Pascual wrote.
With the revision of UP Diliman’s Code of Student Conduct, Pascual assured students that “justice is expected to be served more swiftly.” The code aims to resolve disciplinary cases “in a few months.” (READ: UP Law student gov’t to conduct own probe into frat attacks)
“Together with Chancellor Michael Tan, I will continue to engage our students in UP Diliman in developing a culture of non-violence. At the same time, I want the UP community to appreciate why incidents of violence, including abusive words and deeds, have no place in the hallowed grounds of the University,” he added. – Rappler.com
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