San Beda officials condemn fraternity violenceBy Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer
San Beda College has put its foot down against violence in fraternities following the recent death of San Beda College of Law freshman Marc Andre Marcos and that of schoolmate Marvin Reglos just five months ago.
“While students cannot be denied the right to associate, San Beda College does not approve or countenance membership in any clandestine organization, which employs as part of its ceremonies or other practices any act that results in injury, imprudence or coercion,” the school administration said in a statement.
San Beda reiterated that recruitment and membership in such organizations were administrative and disciplinary offenses warranting suspension or expulsion from the school. It said the administration had not been remiss in forbidding and warning students against it.
The condemnation of fraternity-related violence has strengthened in the school community, after Marcos died in Cavite on July 30, allegedly in hazing rites conducted by “underground” fraternity Lex Leonum Fraternitas.
One of the suspects, Gian Angelo Veluz, was found to be a student of the San Beda College Alabang School of Law (SBCA-SOL).
San Beda urged its students to remember that they were part of a bigger family.
In a post at the San Beda College main branch in Mendiola, Manila, the Office of the Rector-President reminded: “San Beda College is in itself a community where students can find true fraternal brotherhood. We are one Bedan family.”
A similar sentiment was shared by the SBCA-SOL prefect for student affairs, Bruce Rivera, after a Mass for Marcos Tuesday night at the Alabang school’s Maur Auditorium.
“[We are] part of a bigger fraternity, a bigger brotherhood: The brotherhood of humanity,” he told the students.
“To be part of this bigger community, you should adhere to the Benedictine tradition of work, prayer and peace …. I implore you once again, as your prefect: Please let us stop this kind of violence. It’s senseless,” he added.
“If you have information regarding the involvement of anyone of us, anyone of your brethren, the so-called brothers in the community who may be part of this, please report it to us and cooperate with the police. Please be a Bedan, and stand up for what we believe in,” he said.
In a phone interview, Rivera said the Marcos family received on Thursday morning an anonymous letter, supposedly from a fraternity member, “detailing accounts of what happened.”
It also included a list of alleged participants in the hazing rites, which included students both from San Beda Mendiola and Alabang, Rivera said.
Asked about Lex Leonum Fraternitas, he said that though it was known as a fraternity in San Beda Mendiola, “San Beda does not recognize fraternities. We don’t have a list. We know it’s there because we see their activities outside, but as to who their leaders are, how they’re organized, we’re completely blind on that,” he said.
The students themselves expressed that “enough is enough.”
SBCA-SOL student Ian Zander Basconsillo, representing the student council, called out to the suspects, in a speech in the same event to come out with due sincerity and face the wheels of justice. “We demand that the leaders of these organizations take full responsibility for placing the lives of many people in senseless danger and peril,” he said.
He also asked fellow students to stop the culture of tolerance.
San Beda College said would provide all forms of assistance to Marcos’ family, and that it would cooperate with authorities to bring the case to a close.
“Unfortunately, recruiters abound, and their ways are viciously sly, evading detection. While it is not physically possible to monitor the activities of all students especially when they are out of campus, San Beda College shall remain vigilant. It has formed a panel of inquiry, and with proper observance of due process, is committed to impose sanctions, including expulsion from school, on those found responsible,” the school administration said, in a statement released on Tuesday.