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Frat brods are like blood brothers

/ 03:14 AM December 10, 2015

College fraternity “brods” are brothers for life who help one another on and off campus just like blood brothers.

This much I’ve gathered from fraternity members who dismissed reports that two Supreme Court associate justices—Jose C. Mendoza and Bienvenido L. Reyes— tried to persuade their brod from Lex Talionis to withdraw from the presidential race in favor of another member who’s also running for President.

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“So what’s wrong with a fraternity member asking a brod to give way to another brod?” said one of the people I interviewed on the phone.

The people I talked to are not even members of Lex Talionis, which has now become controversial because of reports that Justices Mendoza and Reyes tried to coax presidential candidate Roy Señeres to withdraw in favor of Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte, another member.

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Lex Talionis is a fraternity of law students from San Beda College, one of whose founding members is Señeres.

Mendoza, Reyes, Duterte and Señeres are law graduates of San Beda.

Señeres is a former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and is currently a congressman of the OFW Family Club, a party-list representing overseas Filipino workers or OFWs.

Like Señeres, Justice Mendoza is a founding member of the fraternity; Mendoza is also a member of the Troika, the fraternity’s highest governing body.

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When Mendoza and Reyes attended that fateful meeting at Milky Way restaurant in Makati City, they didn’t go there as magistrates but as Lex Talionis members attending a reunion with their brods.

And so, apparently, did Duterte and Señeres.

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As school or frat reunions go, the members let their hair down—drinking, joking and bantering.

Perhaps during the banter, Mendoza and Reyes brought up the idea of “brod” Roy withdrawing in favor of “brod” Digong, Duterte’s nickname.

According to Duterte’s supporters I talked to, the mayor never asked the two justices to cajole Señeres on his behalf.

“Digong would never do that. As we all know, he didn’t even want to run (for President) in the first place,” said one of the mayor’s supporters.

What was supposed to be just talk within the “family circle” became public.

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I’m surprised why Señeres’ statement that he was asked “in a very polite manner” to withdraw his certificate of candidacy to give way to brod Duterte made it to the news as if he was being pressured.

What the former ambassador and congressman probably meant by that statement was that Mendoza and Reyes were talking to him like elder brothers would to a younger sibling.

Señeres was quoted as saying that one of those present during the frat meeting called him the next day to ask him if would change his mind and withdraw from the race, allegedly saying, “Why, are you sure you will win?”

Obviously, that was meant as a joke since frat brothers, who have attained high positions in government or society, frequently engage in banter when they’re all by themselves.

It would have been an insult if another person—not a brod—said that to Señeres.

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My brother Ben sought my advice if he should run for senator in the May 2016 elections because some quarters were trying to convince him to do so.

My reply was curt: “Mananalo ka ba, Ben (Are you going to win)? May pera ka ba (Do you have the funds)?”

Ben didn’t take it as an insult but as a piece of brotherly advice.

He decided not to run for the post.

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TAGS: Ben Tulfo, Bienvenido L. Reyes, Blood Brothers, College Fraternity, Elections 2016, Fraternity, Jose C. Mendoza, Lex Talionis, Rodrigo Duterte, Rody Duterte
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