The true barbarians of UP (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Sir Jove Francisco noted this page on his Sidetracked report for ABC-5’s Sentro. Watch it here (YouTube). Thanks, Sir Jove!

I just got some nasty and juicy tidbits regarding several personalities in the periphery of CA’s case. Unbloggable, unfortunately.

I think it is unfair for others to blame CA for his own death. He is dead; he can no longer defend his reason for joining Sigma Rho.

The Jester-in-Exile debunks and rails against the logic of those who blames CA. I highly suggest you read it.

There is a very troubling trend, and Dr. Tess Termulo took notice: Apathy: The Most Cold-Hearted Murderer Of Them All (edited). While apathy’s not new, just the same, it must be pointed out.

The Jester-in-Exile posted the blog post that Dr. Termulo had pointed out (including the link to the Multiply blog). He then blasted the post to smithereens, conceding on a single point. All I can say is, I am proud NOT to be from UP if only for that apathetic girl. Blog mob, start your engines. NOT.

There will be no blog-lynching in this case because (1) the blogger is cowardwise enough to lock the post; and (2) there are more who are like her out there. Just look at the papers – any news on CA’s case are on the metro sections.

Nick is calling for everyone to speak up on CA’s case. He is very influential, and hopefully every one will follow suit.


I find the University of the Philippines to be a university of contradiction. With a fabled history of opposition to oppression, the UP is a bastion of freedom (and destabilization, as Raul Gonzalez is wont of thinking). Yet, I cannot help but shake my head when I hear of UP students dying not because of oppression but due to fraternity violence.

Cris Anthony Mendez, a graduating student of UP died of suspicious reasons. The Jester-in-Exile dissects the news report and laments the way the UP administration and students react to the issue. Shades of cover up are obvious, if we go by the report.

Professor Luis V. Teodoro wrote about fraternities in UP. I suggest you read it for context. I still remember the death of Alexander Icasiano (August 16, 1998), and the outrage then was so much palpable that fraternities almost got banned in all schools. Yet, ten years after, the problem remains. Another senseless death, all in the name of brotherhood. Prof. Teodoro was right in saying that the term barbarians fit violence-hungry fraternities more than non-fraternity members.

(Here’s a Peyups article recounting fraternity-related violent incidents in UP during the 90s.)

Is there a lapse in procedure at the hospital where the victim was admitted? I mean, the hospital should have a record of who brought the victim. It should be obvious that the victim’s injuries came from a violent act, and that should have alarmed hospital personnel that a criminal act had caused the victim’s state.

Why are students not talking? Who is this vice chancellor who told the students not to talk to reporters? Why are UP officials concerned that things can get out of hand?

The plate numbers of the vehicles that had brought the victim to the hospital are key to this case. I am going to list them down using the H1 tag:

ZXB 393

WFL 515

XAS 548

I hope the police will act fast, specially if the criminals belong to a fraternity with strong connections. The more the days drag on, the more chances for the criminals to disappear.


What’s next for UP? Is this just another offering to the altar of fraternity violence, or will the UP community finally get to act together to make sure this is the last death caused by initiation? As an outsider, I cannot answer that. I wish the entire UP community good luck.

This is CA’s Friendster profile.


PDI has a special page for news regarding CA’s case: The Chris Mendez Case.

09/12/2007 – Finally, no news about CA’s case. Has the short memory syndrome kicked in?

Anyway, at least Michael Tan of PDI has this to say about fraternities and beyond.

15 face cops’ probe of UP stude’s death The police are not divulging the names at this point.

Another student group seeks justice for UP hazing victim
“Amidst our incalculable grief, we chose not to respond to politically and electronically motivated insinuations that we are doing nothing. Instead, we chose to be with Cris’ family and loved ones in their decent but determined quest for justice.” Are they being defensive or what?
The governance of fraternities Another article by former National Treasurer Leonor Briones about CA’s case.

Doc in UP student’s suspected hazing death gives statement Police refuses to divulge the doc’s affidavit. I wonder why…. Maybe some people are already working behind the scenes? But then,
Cruz submits affidavit to police on death of Mendez the contents were divulged. These policemen are really crazy. Actually what was divulged was not that critical anyway.

4 new witnesses name fratmen in initiation rites NCPAG alumni hits Sigma Rho for its rather offensive stand through its lawsuit. Due process, my a**, show your a**es first before you complain.

Frat threatens to sue UP over studes’ suspension Sigma Rho strikes back. How I wish the news report the identified who the lawyers are.
UP college drops stude as council prexy Up next: investigate and expel. And at the end of the report, read Rolex Suplico’s chicken sh*t.
Sigma Rho alumni also want justice for Mendez Media should be more circumspect? About what? What media circus? You want the media to stop reporting about CA’s case? Mister, you Sigma Rho brothers are on the run and in hiding. Someone is dead. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Doctor of hazing ‘victim’ shows up at NBI The other doc, not the coward one.

Two contradictory news:
Doctor who brought Cris to hospital to show up at NBI but
Doc in UP student’s death snubs NBI summon The doc instead sent a lawyer and submitted an affidavit. Right to privacy, my a**.

New witness links 9 frat members to UP hazing death That’s why the good doc and his son is in hiding.
Angara, Drilon too quiet on Sigma Rho case Boo Chanco calls on Edong Angara and Frank Drilon.
Senator urges DOJ to bring Mendez’s killers to justice At least Enrile has spoken about the case.
Autopsy bolsters suspicions UP stude was hazing victim As expected. Still no criminals apprehended.
Senator to push for abolition of fraternities, sororities Another throw-the-baby-with-bathwater solution. Banning fraternities is not the solution, Honorable Senators of the Republic. Miriam Santiago smells blood, ready to take revenge against UP. Juan Ponce Enrile disowns Sigma Rho, calling it “a trainer of thugs and killers.” Heh.
A death in the family Leonor Briones on CA’s death.
Police confirm UP student died from hazing Finally. Now, if only they can arrests the cowards. Hmmm. Let’s amend the Anti-Hazing Law by making ALL MEMBERS of a fraternity responsible for hazing deaths.
Doctor to finally talk on hazing victim The good doctor should face the music, as well, by facing obstruction of justice charges and surrendering his son, a Sigma Rho barbarian.
Déjà vu for Lenny Villa’s ma A mom of another member of a fraternity who dies from hazing shares grief with the mom of CA.
Blood brothers Patricia Evangelista’s condemnation of the killers of CA.
NBI joins probe of alleged hazing victim’s death Geesh. What is needed is a manhunt.
Culture of violence among UP frats ‘getting worse’ And you can’t even protect your students, sir.
Cops ready raps vs doctor in UP hazing death They should have done this sooner. And while you’re at it, put him on the immigration watch list.

GMA7 was able to interview the owner of one of the vehicles mentioned in the news report. The owner is a member of Sigma Rho fraternity. He said that a friend borrowed the car Sunday, and he has no knowledge of how it was used. No, he refused to divulge the name of his friend. I wouldn’t be surprised if the friend’s also Sigma Rho. (No, the news nor the interview is not available at their new Web site. I saw the interview at their morning show.)

Death puts end to short, happy life of Cris
Rally? Is that all you can do? Should I get ready in writing a blog post condemning THE ENTIRE UP COMMUNITY for the murder of Mendez and the cover up that is apparently happening now? Should I call all members of UP fraternities as CHICKENS, SPINELESS MONSTERS, and MEN WITH NO BALLS?
Doc in UP stude’s hazing death disappears What else is new? The hospital is remiss on all counts. They should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.
Doc holds key to UP stude’s death It seems that people who are possibly connected with the death are fast disappearing.
Doc seen to shed light on ‘hazing’ victim’s death
UP assures justice for hazing victim I’ll believe you when the criminals are sentenced and jailed. Note the conjunction.

Related blog posts:

Frat Free “I don’t hate fraternities nor frat men. I do hate the culture of omerta that they perpetuate, the violence and the hypocritical preening that they indulge in to recruit their next neophytes.”

The blood of brothers “Cris Mendez was hazed so that he could be a brother; ultimately, his blood was spilled by those who would call him, yet not keep him, as brother. The greater tragedy is not that he was killed in the name of brotherhood, but that the brotherhood to which he aspired would even wash his blood off their hands by simply asking, “am I (Cris’s) keeper?”

To those who killed Cris Mendez, let me say this:

Yes, you are your brother’s keeper and his blood is on your hands–not only by you who lifted your hand against him to beat him, to maul him, to spill his blood, but also by you who would stand mute and lift no voice of condemnation for those among your brothers who killed Cris.

Yes, you are your brother’s keeper and, if you would cherish his memory, you would not stand mute in the face of the grief and bereavement of his family and his friends but rather break your silence to let the truth out.

Yes, you are your brother’s keeper for, ultimately, as Donne puts it “any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.””

Ang mamatay nang dahil sa ‘yo, ang pinatay nang dahil sa wala “There is a rule in Evidence that speaks of Character–which is who or what you are, when no one is looking. It is very easy to look noble when you are being watched; it is very easy to look dignified when you are on a stage. But when you can exercise that nobility and possess that dignity even when no one’s watching, that is character.

To those who killed Cris Mendez, no one was watching as you beat him to a pulp; no one was watching as you reduced a life to nothing but a carcass; no one was watching when you inflicted blow upon blow in the name of a “brotherhood” that deserves no glory other than that which is associated with that other organization that practices omerta.
Until the day when you surrender those among you who killed Cris Mendez, until the day when your current leaders have the honor, the character, the courage and, if you will pardon the sexist term, the balls to fall on your sword and come forward to be held accountable, you do not exist, in my contemplation.

And for those in law school, you had better pray that you never enroll in any of my classes, ever–and that includes the OLA program, which is mandatory for a UP degree–because I cannot give a grade to someone who does not exist.”

“For brotherhood’s sake, You made me welcome;
Was for it still that I now write my own memoriam?
My life stripped by the vile of the academe
And with a doctor’s aid, You guiled my dream.
That open hand that called me in fraternity;
Twas the same clenched fist that murdered me.
Oh enemies I once had from beyond your walls;
I exchanged ten more to drag me on your halls.
Hazed by a brotherhood that You and I created
Hazed to a tragedy both senseless and wicked
Bothers we were when you lifted that plank.
Were we brothers still when I died in your hand?”

Battered Brother Syndrome “And to the members of Sigma Rho, quit while you’re ahead. For a time will come, when you are on your death bed, looking back on your life, the men who sit beside you will not be your “brothers”, but it will be your family, related by blood, not violence.”

The Guards of Violence “And so we go back to what is happening behind the scenes and as to why I believe that selfish motives and “brotherhood” are all behind the softening case of Cris Anthony Mendez. For the powerful are hypocrites who know nothing of compassion and humanity. And we wonder why our nation is so lagging behind, it is because of individuals such as these Fratmen, that put personalities above nation, and put brotherhood above life.”

Justice For Cris Mendez, Who (Allegedly) Died of Fraternity Hazing “I condemn violence, especially when under the guise of so-called brotherhood, in the harshest possible terms. I can never understand why my cousin’s late classmate “took the risk and lost.” But he didn’t deserve to die. Not in the hands of people who have a twisted sense of loyalty and morality. Not in the hands of a group that claims to embody honor but adheres to such brutality. Not in the hands of a society that cradles the culture of violence. Not in the shrouds of secrecy and uncertainty.”

A Boy Is Dead “Who wouldn’t feel for his friends? At 22, I’ve only lost a friend once and I still see it as an unnatural event. People our age are not supposed to die. A college senior definitely leaves a lot of people who knows him. There was definitely no goodbye for this case. It was a slow ordeal for Cris, and he surely suffered long and hard before he gave up the fight, but his friends had no idea that they were never going to see him again. They probably feel cheated by fate. They will hang out with him again. It’s done. The boy is dead.”

Cold Soup Musings. “I am optimistic that this issue will not die until such time that justice is served. There have been several meaningless deaths as a result of campus violence. Cris Mendez’s case shouldn’t be the latest number in a tally that has gone unresolved. But while there appears to be no feasible upheaval in the system, the best that the University can do is show the individual that there are many choices available for him/her.”

What Brotherhood?!? “Is brotherhood characterized by how supposedly educated, intelligent, and refined members of society conspire and assent to keep and uphold this brutal tradition of hazing? Is brotherhood defined by the number of paddles you whack against the thighs of a fraternity aspirant? Is brotherhood celebrated by the barbaric, ungentlemanly, and un-brotherly act of violence?

Does an aspirant’s worthiness to be a member of the “brotherhood” determined and measured by how many blows he can take without actually dying?”

Greek isn’t exactly the most useful language anyway “I watched the newsclip with my grandparents and sister during dinner — I know, it’s a bad habit of ours, watching the news during dinnertime even with the knowledge that it’ll end up ruining our appetite anyway. Mama shook her head after the interview with CA’s dad, saying, “I thought the exact same thing about my son, until he came home one afternoon black and blue all over”.

My grandparents are UP fraternity and sorority alumni.

But they said not all fraternities/sororities practice ritualistic physical persecution. I asked Papa if he was beaten as a would-be “brother”. He kept staring at his plate and slowly nodded. I looked at Mama. She was staring at her plate, too.”

is it really worth dying for? “Grabe. Yan ba ang tinatawag nyong ASTIG? Jan ba nasusukat ang tapang nyo? Bakit kapag nakapatay na kayo… nababahag mga buntot nyo at nagsisipagtago kayo? Asan na ang tinatawag nyong tapang? Sa inyo ba nanggaling ang buhay ng mga taong pinapatay nyo o sinasaktan nyo? Dahil ba siya ang gustong sumali sa “kapatiran” nyo eh binigyan na kayo ng karapatang gawin kahit anong gusto nyo sa kanya, kasama na ang patayin siya? Hanep.
Galit ako dahil buhay na ang pinaguusapan pero parang wala lang sa kanila.

Galit ako. Un lang.”

Justice for Cris “His name is Cris Anthony Mendez.

He died a violent death and in a shroud of secrecy.

Justice for Cris may come slow and uncertain. If nobody will come out to shed light on his case, justice may not come at all.

But if we remember him and how he died, if the memory of him will compel us to work for changes, then Cris will not die in vain.”

out of boredome comes spite “I understand that this entry was late, but i think that is a good thing. Maybe this will buy him more time in our minds, for things like this tend to have a fifteen-minute shelf-life. Of care and concern. Or a semblance of that.”

and they call it brotherhood “i find this sad because not only is he another victim of the neverending frat violence, but this really says about a lot of what they claim the concept of brotherhood in the state university where everyone is groomed to be the movers and opinion makers of the country. damn right.

i am but one of those who feel this particular duality– at the same time i am proud of the school that has molded me into what i am today, i am ashamed to have lived amongst people who claim to advocate human rights while violating the main concept of what is right. and the person who pays does not even get to call them brother in the end, at the moment he breathes his last and begs for them to stop–”

Temporarily No Title “The University felt the abovementioned emotion in such an intense proportion as Cris Anthony Mendez passed away. Sorrow, gloom, grief, resentment, anger, rage… the outbreak of emotions waved over the whole school so strong that each and every one could feel it reverberate in his own body.

You could imagine the pain that he had gone through before he gave his last breath and imagine that pain resounding back to those he left behind… family, friends, a whole community who look up to him as a leader, a friend, a brother…

That is precisely why violence of any form, be it from fraternities or what-have-you, should never be condoned. Any form of violence should not be tolerated except that which would end all forms of violence.”

Justice for Cris Anthony Mendez “Dr. Cruz, if you were not involved in CA’s death, then how could you just leave his body? If you’re not guilty why haven’t you given any statement as of now? Why did you not report the incident as soon as you’ve gotten hold of his lifeless body? What are you hiding? Are you trying to protect someone?

Ariel Paolo Ante, where were you when your friend needed you most? It’s such a shame. CA trusted you. Nawala ka na lang ng parang bula.”

my last say on what they qualify as “BROTHERHOOD”. “anyway, last saturday, i resolved not to talk about this again and again because i just end up getting really frustrated because i cant do something really tangible in order to bring about justice. plus i want to let go of the hatred and indignation for the PEOPLE.1 involved in this, as well as the PEOPLE.2 who are trying their best not to get involved because PEOPLE.1 are seemingly powerful and influential. i even got to the point that i wished PEOPLE.1 would suffer consequences greater that being expelled and being jailed–punishments that they are escaping by evading justice. and when i learned last friday that it was the Bar Exams on saturday and sunday, i wished that memebers of PEOPLE.1 that are taking it wont pass. hello, do you want future lawyers and policy-makers to be evading the Law itself?”

Going around in circles. “There was debate on whether we should publish the photos of Cris’ body in the morgue (someone from GMA went to the office to get a hold of them last week, but I think there was an agreement with the family that they can only come out in the Collegian). I mean, they should bring the message alright. This is harshness. Later on, it was decided to not publish the photos. If we want to remember Cris, we might as well remember him in his better days. That is, when his body is not limp from bruises and his hands are mobile and he is smiling that broad smile.

Kule’s front page columnist is right. The slogan ‘End fraternity violence,’ rings empty, especially in light of such brutality. What is a frigging slogan when confronted with a lifeless body of a 20-year old, beaten like a piece of rag doll then returned lifeless to his mother’s arms. Cris was one batch lower than me. We could very well be in the same sunflower-laden ceremony in April where they recognize us for surviving UP. He will never get to wear the sablay and bring tears to her mother’s eyes for living up to a promise. He will never get the chance to return the favor to the Filipino people who funded his education. The promise was not kept. He will just be another boy who reminded us that life may be harsh, but harsher still for some. That unless these brutes are punished or this deep-seated culture is dismantled, we will be, just like taking a walk around the academic oval, going around in circles.”

“Adjectives are not enough” “Like any other students in UP, he is just an ordinary student na siguro ay nakasalamuha at minsan ay nakabangaang balikat sa araw araw ng aking pagtira at pagaaral sa loob ng UP campus. Di ko alam na minsan pla eh nakasabayan ko na siya kumain ng isaw o tapsilog sa Roddicks. Baka namn ay nagkatabi na kami sa Ikot jeep at sa pagsurf sa Internet sa shopping center. May posibilidad din na nakapagtanong na ako sa kanya pag ako ay naliligaw sa campus. UP is a great place to live and live life. It nourishes its community not just intellectually but the whole life itself. What is good about it is the diversity of culture and the open-mindedness of its people. Pero minsan nasagi sa aking isipan na baka sa sinasabing UP culture nangaling ang problemang ito. Di kaya dahil sa “culture” ay nagyari ang pangyayaring ito.?”

Another Senseless Death “This is something that I can’t simply condone. I hope justice will be served to him. I hope someone will make a difference and give our justice system a whole new meaning.”

VIOLENCE NO MORE “As a student and a constituent of the UP System, I deeply fear of having a secure, but short, brutish and nasty life of being in a fraternity (or sorority). Even you have that “circle of friends”, you get into the fact that if you were not careful on the choice you have made, you will get into serious trouble that may even make your life the price of these actions; your dignity, your self-esteem, your happiness, your faith, your soul. What’s with intoxicating liquor, cigarettes, videoke nights, tambay-tambay, and even prohibited drugs, anyway? What’s with contradicting issues between these kinds of organizations? What’s with these fraternities and sororities, which make physical and psychological attacks their form of entry?”

malungkot na pamamaalam… “sana lang (at ipinagdadasal ko) na mabigyan ng hustisya ang pagkamatay niya. Kahit maraming nagsasabi na mahirap makamit ang hustisya sa mga ganitong kaso at madalas taon pa ang binibilang, hindi pa rin ako nawawalan ng pag asa na lalabas din ang katotohanan…sana ay maparusahan lahat ng sangkot sa WALANG KWENTANG HAZING na yan! sana rin ay huwag nang maulit sa kahit sinuman ang mapait na sinapit ni CA.”

The Shades of Brotherhood A poem for CA.

Keeping the fire alive for Cris Anthony Mendez “Instead, I want to lash out at the fraternities, “brotherhood” they call themselves, whose principles must be upheld by violence. To those who do not, then shut up; I am not after you. Why manhood must be proven by taking licks from your ‘brothers’ is just pointless.

You will soon understand when you boys grow up and enter the real world that can hurt you even more than your wooden paddles. It is not the physical strength that matters most; it’s actually your principles and character that hold you together.”

Justice For Cris “As of today, the Sigma Rho Fraternity remains to hide behind the veil of silence. No press statement whatsoever explaining their side of the story has been issued. The Sigma Rhoans are also nowhere to be found these days in their tambayans. And we can only wonder why. Tsk.”

Cries for Cris “The Quezon City Police District has already determined that 20-year old UP Public Administration student Cris Anthony Mendez died due to hazing. But with the prevailing culture of silence at the University of the Philippines Diliman, will we ever know which group is behind the killing?”

Bludgeoned “What are your reasons gentlemen? I know you are all highly intelligent and articulate. Now let us see how you can “articulate” your way out of this one and how you can “intelligently” explain to Chris’ family why he has to die just so he can be part of your brotherhood. That is, if you are all brave enough to own up to what you did.”

It doesn’t end in death. “Brotherhood, doesn’t end in death. Ironically, for the ones left mourning, it doesn’t end in the victim’s death either. For their families, the searing pain of each unanswered question and the cold numbing pain of loss has just started. No one knows for certain when it will end. Or, if it will end at all.”

Senseless… “The death of Mendez in the hands of fratmen may serve as the spark that would finally end the existence of fraternities in UP..the demonstration held by students condemning the death of Mendez is just an indicator that there is already a growing opposition against fraternities and frat violence.”

Si Along noon, si CA naman ngayon..(sino kaya ang susunod?) “What is also frustrating is that when a congressman, who is an alumni of the said fraternity was interviewed, he merely said that it was probably the fault of just one member and not the fraternity as a whole. Hindi ko mawari kung saang lupalop niya na pulot ang baluktot at walang-pakundangang pag-iisip na iyon. Sayang at naturingan ka pa naman na magaling na abugado. Even more disturbing is that there seems to be no or little outcry at all from the UP studentry. Is it because we are tired of doing so already? O di kaya dahil ang mga malalakas umalingawngaw noon ay sila palang nadadawit ngayon?”

Niño Calinao, Cris Anthony Mendez, Dennis Venturina at ang mga diyos sa UP I highly recommend that you read Ederic Eder’s post. It contains a lot of information, and here is the answer to the question of prominent Sigma Rho alumni:

“Wala pang pahayag ang Sigma Rho Fraternity. Tila nagtatago pa ang mga kasapi nito ngayon. Maraming Sigma Rhoans ang dati at kasalukuyang opisyal ng pamahalaan, gaya ng ilang dating pangulo ng senado–sina Jovito Salonga, Edgardo Angara, Franklin Drilon, at ang namayapa nang si Marcelo Fernan–at iba pang opisyal gaya nina Simeon Datumanong, Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, Senador Juan Ponce Enrile at Rep. Luis Villafuerte.”

Villafuerte, one of Gloria Arroyo’s henchmen at the House of Reprehensibles, tried to wiggle away from the issue. Eder answered Villafuerte by simply quoting what Villafuerte as a Sigma Rho barbarian should know by heart:

The test of a true Sigma Rhoan
Is not his individual greatness,
But the virtue of not leaving any Sigma Rhoan in disgrace,
For until the day breaks
And the shadows flee,
Time will always be the essence of
Our oneness,
And we shall always remember,
That we are called Sigma Rhoans, Because we stand as true
Brothers above the rest.


Put A Stop To The Barbaric Practice of Hazing “Where is the sense in hurting a person both physically and psychologically just to let him join your group or organization? What is the rationality of treating your brothers with such violence? This practice of hazing is barbaric at its very core, disguised as “tradition”. But will we let tradition rule us when we know IT IS UNETHICAL AND CRIMINAL?”

The thing is… “Wala silang puso…Wala silang puso para patayin siya at hayaan na lang…”

That’s Just Wrong “I for one never really understood the POINT of hazing, especially when it results in DEATH. Yeah yeah brotherhood, tradition, etc. But why? Going through physical, emotional and mental torture just to belong in a group is just so wrong.”

brotherhood of violence “where is the brotherhood in this? when you had to injure strong paddles on your legs to earn every inch of belongingness you wished these fratmen would make you feel. and yet, what you get is a swollen body, if not a journey to the afterlife.”

Why I Wore Black Today “Yet even my black garb pales in comparison to the hearts of the “fratmen” who killed – no, murdered – Cris Mendez. You hazed Cris because you wanted to make a “brother” out of him. You didn’t initiate Cris into your brotherhood: you killed him. Did you “accidentally” kill him? You’ll find your answers in Cris Mendez’s corpse. Look at every bruise, ever wound, every broken bone in Cris’ dead body and forgive yourself for your “accident.” Is he your “brother,” now that he has passed your “initiation rite?” You’ll find your answers in Cris Mendez’s corpse. Look at his gangrenous scars, his rolled-back eyes, his bone-cold skin, and tell yourself that he’s your “brother.”

COMEDIANS & A MURDER “Officers and members of Sigma Rho Fraternity in UP Diliman reportedly made themselves scarce after the death of 20-year-old Cris Anthony Mendez allegedly due to frat hazing. Furious UP studes now refer to the frat’s members as Sigma Runs.

Members of Sigma Rho Fraternity categorically denied any involvement in the death of Cris Anthony Cruz due to hazing. Sigma Rhoans issued the strong denial – while in hiding.”

The Stupidity of Fraternity “The concept of undergoing initiation to prove commitment to the group still eludes. What eludes me more is the point of their continuous existence right within school premises. I understand that we have the right to convene and express our ideologies. But when people die senselessly in the process of joining, then we have a problem. A big one.

Again, the Anti-Hazing law seems to bear no meaning to these idiots who continue to engage in these illegal activities of fraternities.”

NOT ANOTHER STATISTIC “What makes it worse, is when the indignation and protests have faded, this death will be another statistic in the vicious cycle of campus violence. Forgetfulness and tolerance will replace indignation and protest, until another victim has been claimed.”

Dying young… in the hands of your “brothers” “Or did they think that the courage to INFLICT pain on someone to the point of death is a measure of their own manhood, courage and strength. If this is so, then brothers in SIGMA RHO, whoever you are, you are MEN of the HIGHEST DEGREE, you had the heart to torture a young man to death.

But guys, if you are so brave enough, WHY ARE YOU HIDING? Why can’t you face the responsibility of the death of Cris Anthony Mendez? Oh maybe you are COWARDS OF THE HIGHEST DEGREE.”

On Cris Mendez “Nevertheless, I am one with everyone who is deeply saddened, depressed and enraged by Cris’ tragic death. I am one with your prayers. I don’t know what else I can say that hasn’t already been said. Some people, though they share in the present outcry, surrender to what they believe will be an inevitable slump in the issue. Let that serve as a challenge to us all not to forget Cris Mendez’s death, the way other alleged frat-related deaths have been burrowed. Let us seek for justice till it has been served.”

Cris Mendez—what a waste of life, Frat–for what? “I do not subscribe to many UPians who try to join frats and societies for various reasons. It has been a well learned lesson I suppose that those who come in to UP should watch out for the dogs coming in sheeps clothing like many frats. For what is joining a frat? To add sense and sensibility? To add substance to an otherwise lackluster life? To add adventurism? Or because one lacks true courage to weather through UP alone and true to oneself?”

Justice for Cris Mendez “It saddens me to hear of UP students keeping silent about what they know of Cris’ death. Shouldn’t they be just as guilty as those who beat the death out of Cris? If indeed Sigma Rho fraternity was involved in Cris death, then I hope that Sigma Rho alumni will uphold its traditions and accomplishments. As a fraternity based at the UP College of Law, Sigma Rho understands that there are laws and due process.
My heart goes out to the family of Cris Mendez. As a mother, losing a child is the worst nightmare anyone can ever imagine. You would not even wish it on your enemy. His death will seem unreal to them, the excruciating pain is like nothing they have ever felt. My thoughts about what they are going through just brings me buckets of tears. It will never stop hurting.

Nothing can bring their son back to them again but justice over their son’s death will save the future lives of your children.”

Death in the time of Friendster “Will there be no end in sight to death by fratmen hazing? Why do young men literally lay down their lives just to be called “brother”?” To be honest, I actually expect more from ExpectoRANTS, but that’s it.

Tragedies “These headlines are very alarming, especially for a parent. I remember the saying that it’s the parent that should be buried first and not the children. Mahirap makita ng magulang na inililibing ang kaniyang anak. I can say that the pain that a parent goes through whenever his or her child is in trouble can only be fully explained by a parent as well. Personally, I’d rather suffer than see my kids suffer. Imagine what the parents of the victims are going through right now, knowing that both cases have not been solved as of this writing.

My family’s prayers go out to the families and relatives of Geraldine and Cris. May you find peace knowing that the Lord is taking care of your beloved Geraldine and Cris. And may their souls rest in peace.”

In Memory of Cris Anthony Mendez
“To those who caused this tragedy, may your conscience never let you rest and may no sleep allow you pleasant dreams.”

In memoriam Cris Anthony Mendez (1987-2007) “To the people who inflicted this pain, your hands are stained with the blood of this man. i hope you suffer the pain that you caused kuya cris and also the pain that you caused on the people that loved him multiply it a thousand times. i hope you suffer an agonizing death, one that’s slow and utterly painful that you’d just wish that you were dead. Damn you all.”

A Time to Grieve “Let us unite in calling for the truth, and for whatever justice he and his family deserves.”

In Memoriam How I wish they had issued a strong statement of condemnation aside from the usual memorial.

oh shaks. “i just viewed the friendster account of allegedly murdered UPD student, Cris Anthony Mendez. at first it gave me the creeps, but then i realized how sad it is for his family…he was in his senior year and it’s such a shame that he has to die so early.”

hazy over hazing “if it does turn out to be just another hazing incident — and i’m pretty sure the UP administration wouldn’t be able to do anything about it if it actually was — let me be the first to say to those responsible: i spit on you.

i condemn such killing in no weaker terms than i condemn extra-judicial killings. perhaps even with more fervor. because in cases like this, there really is no sense, even in the most twisted way you can look at it.

you people make me sick.”

[ para kay cris anthony mendez ] A poem for Cris Mendez.

Cris Mendez, DEAD — Justice for the Boy, When? “By the way, there’s to be a protest march in front of the NCPAG tomorrow morning and a candlelight vigil tomorrow evening at the UP Law parking lot.

Do I sound interested?

How can I be? It seems rather hypocritical to me to be in a protest against fraternity violence, crying “no to hazing”, right amongst a crowd that includes people who condone fraternity violence and promote hazing as a norm in terms of fraternity rituals.”

Another UP Student Dies from Fraternity-related Violence? “have always been pro-choice and I believe that people who join frats have their own reasons. I would probably never understand these reasons and disagree with most if not all of them. Frat-related stuff, especially hazing, is just another thing that I don’t really get… intentionally inflicting pain on someone because of “brotherhood” is not something I can fully digest.”

The comment in the above blog post is enlightening:

“Dying from hazing is not the issue circulating among fellow frat men in UP. What they abhor is how the supposed ‘brods’ of CA Mendez handled the matter of his death- dumping him in a hospital just like that. Without even a fall guy. At least back in the day…someone would become a testament to ‘one for all’ in these situations. What were they thinking? That they could mum all the witnesses and no evidence would point to them in the end? You’re right, inflicting pain on someone because of brotherhood is not something all of us can fully digest. I doubt if all those who entered fraternities can give a substantial answer to that. But CA’s death (frat man o hindi frat man) is like any other death, let’s all hope for justice to prevail.”

you told me to send this to you so that you can change your friendster’s primary pic, remember?
Poignant last look at Cris Mendez.

Ang lalaking mukhang bao ang buhok Remembering CA.

Blog Round-Up and Ratified now accepts sponsors “I recall a story from a friend who happens to be sitting beside a frat member during school break. He was surprised when several frat members came near them and the person beside him got beaten up. I asked what did he do then. He said that he can’t interfere or else they’ll hurt him too. When someone shouted “ayos na” (or something like that), that is the only time they can help the poor student.”

The Truth is Risky Business Speaking against hazing is difficult and risky. “Apathy is now the scourge of the new generation. A student once said that speaking the truth is risky: if he catches his friend cheating in the exam, he would rather keep it to himself, than losing their long-lasting friendship. So, should we just ignore Chris’ death and continue with our lives?”

Barbarians “This makes me wonder… In times like this, what would be the ‘proportionate’ response? A life has been taken – must we speak of this in hushed and careful tones? Must we contain our grief and outrage because we know that the perpetrators too are our friends and walk amongst us and we must take care not to offend them? Is there even grief? Is there even outrage? Or perhaps, our silence is due to our collective guilt? After all, aren’t we all somehow responsible by our mere acquiescence to the culture of violence and hate and elitism and patronage that goes on around us everyday, especially in the UP College of Law?”

Fuckin’ fuckin’ senseless. “At this point, it has become irrelevant if he’s from SR, APB, SJ, APO, whatever. I don’t even care if mainstream media will milk the incident for its worth, portraying UP in the grimmest light possible. It is just so sad that a culture that has historically claimed the life of so many UP students is being allowed to persist. Jerrie is right. Life is harsh. But not if we can help it.”

There’s this forum thread at Peyups. I had stopped reading at the fourth or fifth post. Blaming the victim is just so foul for me. Sounds like Raul Gonzalez to me.

I will continue updating this post with the latest news and blog posts.


1. I wish UP bloggers would speak up on this issue.
2. Do you know prominent Sigma Rho members? Is it time to shame them?
3. Blaming CA for his death is just plain wrong and unfair. And please, do not use false analogies. Initiation is like extreme sports, my ass.
4. I find it odd that the NBI’s Anti terrorism Division is handling CA’s case.

47 thoughts on “The true barbarians of UP (UPDATED)

  1. You put bright young men in a collective and they all lose their head. Its the worse aspects of masculinity amplified. Ego, respect, machismo, “brotherhood?”

  2. Hi, Sparks, sometimes mob psychology (group psychology) is a fascinating subject.

    Hi, Arthur, maybe you mean the butchers at the gate.

  3. Arbet, your term for these young homicidal men was accurate: barbarians.

    I might add savages. What honour is there in humiliating, beating up one of your own to submission and in this case to death?

    Those who stood idly by watching a ‘neophyte’ bludgeoned are the worst of the savage lot. They are moral cowards.

    The parents of this savage lot must be so ashamed; I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.

  4. FYI, actually the term “barbarians” is used to refer to people who are NOT members of any social organizations or fraternities (I learned this recently from another forum).

    As an alumni, I am saddened and angered that my beloved university’s reputation is tarnished by such violent incidents. People still haven’t learned. Frats who hold firmly to traditions for traditions’ sake… I assume that incidents like these are condoned by their “supposedly wiser” alumni.

    A more pressing issue is that no one seems to want to step up and take the blame. Akala ko ba matatapang kayo?

  5. I hope you try to understand the UP students’ situations for not speaking up about the issue.

    We’re all saddened and infuriated about Cris’s death, but the looming threat of revenge from frats who will be indicated by any statement is very far from inviting. The students were kept mum because the case hasn’t been resolved yet, and any statement released by anyone from UP could really blow things out of proportion if found otherwise.

    We are trying our best. If you are a UP student, what would you do? We held an indignation rally to show that we sympathize with the family and to show how we condemn frat violence in the university, and also to encourage people who have information to speak up before the authorities.

    We are likewise urging the UP Admin to act upon the matter immediately. But the resolution of the case lies not with us, but with the proper authorities.

    Thanks. Just airing out my side as a UP student.

  6. Pingback: Justice for Cris Anthony Mendez » Touched by an Angel »

  7. The three vehicles used to bring Cris Mendez to VMMC are identified to members of the UP Sigma Rho Fraternity. The Toyota Innova (ZAB 393) and not (ZXB 393) as reported, of Dr. Francisco Cruz is used by his son Sigma Rhoan Miko Cruz on campus. The Isuzu Trooper (WGL 515) registered to Beda G. Fajardo is driven by his son, John Fajardo of Sigma Rho batch 2004. While the Nissan Frontier pick-up (XAS 548) used by a certain B.L. Santos is driven by Andoni Santos of Sigma Rho batch 2007.

  8. On prominent Sigma Rho members, former Senate President Jovito Salonga told Prof. Filomeno T. Hilbay in a private conversation before the incident: “One more time a hazing incident happens, I will renounce my frat.” He also said that, “I’m not proud of my association with Sigma Rho.”

    The father of University Student Council (USC) Chairperson Shahana Abdulwahid is Court of Appeals Justice Hakim S. Abdulwahid of Sigma Rho batch 1966. The brother of Chancellor Sergio S. Cao is Carlos S. Cao, Jr. of Sigma Rho batch 1978.

  9. The Grand Archon (head) of the UP Sigma Rho Fraternity is Raul Grapilon of the UP College of Law. Other officers include Ronald Chua (Vice Archon), Armand Sapitan (Keeper of the Rolls) and Andrew de Rosa (Custodian of Funds). And it as Ariel Paolo Ante who recruited Mendez.

  10. Pingback: Put A Stop To The Barbaric Practice of Hazing

  11. Pingback: Niño Calinao, Cris Mendez, Dennis Venturina at ang mga diyos sa UP | ederic@cyberspace

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  15. found these names, among others, on the Wikipedia entry on the UP Sigma Rho

    Jovito Salonga
    Franklin Drilon

    Edgardo Angara

    have they said anything?

    other than them, there’s frank chavez, who said that there was “no code of secrecy in the fraternity“. So why have the fraternity members who were involved not come out of hiding?

    ironic that camarines sur congressman luis villafuerte, a Sigma Rhoan, says that “if Mendez was harmed during the Sigma Rho initiation rites, it was possible only a member—not the fraternity—was at fault“. I thought that they “are called Sigma Rhoans, because we stand as true brothers above the rest“?

    i’m glad that you’re keeping an eye on this issue. wish more people would, too.

  16. Oh my God! were those persons mentioned really the “one”? I freakin’ know them.I don’t think so.Yes, I do believe that the mentioned fraternity might have really caused the grave crime but as a ‘TRUE-Blooded” UP student knows, these people are JUNIORS in terms of fraternity membership. This Fraternity has this thing called “seniority”, and these juniors mentioned can’t do anything if one of their senior brods ask for help to “cover”them up. In short, their names could be used as cover ups even if they really didn’t do the crime.

    JUSTICE should really be served. A lot of parents of some senior high school kids right now are hesitating of sending their sons/daughters to UP because of this! and it will cause the depletion of the educated students produced by UP..

    alam nating kung paano mag-isip ang mga magulang.

    If you really are brave, as brave as those times when you geared up for a rumble, as brave as those times when you are too swell-headed to criticize people/fratmen, and as brave as those times when you just want to hit someone who looked at you differently, SHOW UP! ! !

  17. I am just enraged how people are silenced by this senseless killings. The Malu Fernandez brouhaha has elicited more response, to think that nobody died from reading her stupid article. If frats/sororities, fratmen and women are serious about ending this tradition of violence, my challenge is this: that your frat or sorority release a condemnation of these hazings and a commitment to a hazing-free initiation rites.

    I have just read the official statemet of the UP Law Student body on the death of Mendez and this is what I have to say: cut the crap!! I have enough of your cry for temperance. This is the only statement I need to hear from you and your orgs: WE CONDEMN HAZING AND WE WILL NEVER CONDUCT HAZING FOR INITIATION RITES EVER AGAIN. Simple and clear, you don’t have to be a lawyer to say that!!!

  18. ei, i actually expanded on that entry. i could write an entire essay if i want, but i need time to gather my thoughts

  19. Sorry for the uber-late reply to your comments.

    JM, I believe The Jester-in-Exile (himself a UP student) has answered your questions?

    Hi, Bikoy, I know this is painful for you, being a fratman yourself. This should challenge you and your frat to finally make UP a frat-violence-free school.

    Hi, Barb, thanks for the juicy info.

    Hi, Ederic, I don’t know. At least Enrile had reacted. I don’t care about Villabwitre.

    Hi, Hindered, I don’t have my hopes up on these cowards.

    Hi, Hank, hopefully through your efforts, the US will catch up on this.

    Hi, Anti-Frat Mom, don’t get your hopes up.

    Hi, Resty, take your time.

  20. REVOLTING is too tame a word to describe the conspiracy of silence among officers and members of the Sigma Rho fraternity. A promising young man had died, and they have his blood on their hands. Yet no one have come forward to be man enough to admit anything, or even to be sorry for what happened. Only beasts can willingly take part in such a dastardly cover-up and not feel even a tinge of guilt in their being.

    But we ordinary mortals who do not belong to their elitist enclave can break their self-serving silence. If the members of this fraternity who are now leaders in society, business and the government, and fancy calling themselves “honorables”, cannot come forward to condemn the brutality of their blood brothers, let us expose them for the cowards that they really are. And for those who are directly involved in the actual hazing and the subsequent cover-up through their sacred code of silence, let us give them what they deserve. For the doctor who brought Chris to the hospital and promptly disappeared, let him be stripped of his license – he does not do his oath any justice. For the leaders of the Sigma Rho fraternity, disbar them – how can they defend or dispense justice if they could not even provide it to someone who they want to be one of their own? For the administrators of UP Diliman, remove them – their silence is an implicit complicity in this most heinous cover-up. And for the students who know the truth but choose to be silent, kick them out of UP – they do not deserve a single centavo from the taxes that we pay to keep them in school.

    I never liked Senator Juan Ponce Enrile for so many reasons, but he earned my respect for stepping forward and condemning his own fraternity for the barbaric rites it has come to embrace. I challenge all right thinking citizens to come forward and expose the other members of this fraternity. And when they are finally exposed, let them explain their participation in this conspiracy of silence. The vicious cycle of violence must be finally broken, and the time is now. If these cowards hiding behind the mantle of protection from their fraternity brothers sitting on thrones of power refuse to admit, repent and reform, then let us not and we should not stand idly while they make beasts out of our future leaders.

    Honorable Gentlemen, your pregnant silence on this senseless death is simply unfathomable. If you cannot exert your influence to give justice to the victim and reform your fraternity, then the least you can do as a decent human being is to come forward, be sorry for being associated with this fraternity and resign from it posthaste. What do Jovito Salonga, Franklin Drilon, Edgardo Angara, Rolex Sulpico, Luis Villafuerte, Sonny Angara, Simeon Datumanong, Simeon Marcelo, Frank Chavez, Antonio Carpio, Presbiterio Velasco, among other illustrious members of this fraternity have to say? Will they stay silent and deny that they do not have the blood of Chris Mendez in their hands as well?

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  24. Dear All,

    I am a fratman and approaching my midlife.

    Spending 10 years in UP without completing my degree gave me enough experience and insights to warn younger students NOT to join fraternities!!!

    There is only one brotherhood…and that is under one Supreme Creator, our God and Almighty Father.

    The rest are mere imitations and their methodology of forcibly demanding loyalty is dubious and un-Christian. “You will know them by their fruits.”

    It is now my mission to rescue fratmen…never mind the evil culture of these brotherhoods.

    I have started the renewal campaign in my own fraternity in the hope of rescuing my frat brothers.

    I am not alone… for our Almighty God has sent another powerful young man of faith who was rescued from jail. He is my frat brother and we pray that our mission will be a success.

    Kindly visit and learn from me. I derive my inspiration from God the Father Almighty Himself.

    To all you young students…if you value your life…don’t waste it with bad company…don’t be misled by blind men!


    Once you receive these gifts from Him…what more could you ask for?

    These fraternities cannot offer these blessings. Instead, they will draw you away from our Creator.

    Do not become blind followers and willing victims to a surely senseless death!!!

    Joel Ferraris

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  28. Sa mga suspects sa Mendez hazing case, na napakatatapang pag madami or sa members na kala mo kung sinong macho kapag humahawak ng sagwan… mga numero uno kayong duwag!!!
    ilabas nyo tapang nyo, harapin nyo ang batas, at ngayon nyo ipakita kung gaano kayo kalakas sa mga brods nyo sa gobyerno… Kung hindi nyo harapin ang batas, wala palang kwenta yang mga ipinagmamalaki ninyong brotherhood na yan… dahil ang totoong brotherhood, mali man ang ginawa mo, ipagtatangol ka pa rin ng brod mo kahit ano mangyari. eh sa kaso nyo, pati mga brod nyo gobyerno, sinusuka na kayo!!! Mga Bakla!!!

  29. comment lang sa tumawag sa mga taga-SR na bakla. alam ko kung saan ka nanggagaling pero sana wag nating idamay ang ating mga kapatid sa lesbian-gay-bisexual-trangendered community sa usapan… walang masama sa pagiging bakla, pero sa pagiging mamamatay-taong duwag, meron…

    salamat sa pag-unawa. 🙂

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  31. I’m not aware if there were any statistical studies about these incidents but for those of us from UP knows that violence like these often falls before semester break and before end of school year.

  32. First and foremost I am a fratman. I’ve been through hazing and I believe that if you perform this process in the right way, it will not lead to someones death. There are only two reasons that spring up in my mind why it leads to death, whether the neophyte is physically incapable or the inflictors are abusing the the whole process. It is not designed to kill rather it is designed to test someones volition. In these case we can see that there is foul play and it shows in his bruises.. That is not hazing, that is killing.

  33. Pingback: Cris Anthony Mendez: The Search for Justice « blog @

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  37. If it’s of any help or consolation, I am not from UP.

    Well, porke ba nagreremit kayo eh may karapatan ka nang magsalita ng ganyan? Eh paano naman ako na nagbabayad ng income tax at VAT at kung anu-ano pang tax? Ang ganitong klaseng argumento ay walang katuturan sa isyu.

    Porke ba hindi sila nakikialam sa mga namatay na iba eh hindi na dapat sila magalit sa pangyayaring pagpatay sa isang estudyante ng UP?

    So tanggalin na natin ang subsidy ng gobyerno sa UP? Eh di para patas ganito gawin natin. Pag may nangyari sa iyo dyan, di na rin dapat makialam ang gobyerno sa yo. Di ka na dapat pag aksayahan ng pera. Yan ba gusto mo?

    Kasi simple lang naman ang isyu. May namatay na estudyante, pero ang mga pumatay, malaya pa rin. Yan ang isyu. Kung naiinis ka sa pagputok ng butsi nila sa isyu, problema mo na yun. Wag ka magpadala ng remittance, ok lang yun. Sila bang mga nagpuputok ang butsi ang magugutom?

    Pera lang yan. Buhay ang isyu rito. Hustisya ang isyu rito.

    At sana naman po next time, wag po ALL CAPs ang pagtatype. Alam kong galit kayo, pero bago kayo magalit, isipin nyo muna kung tamang magalit kayo.

    And next time, use a valid email address.

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