Brods investigating brods: Upsilon Sigma Phi in hot water over near-fatal hazing incident

Finally after many years of fraternity violence (whether it be in hazing or “rumbles”) claiming many young lives and limbs in the Philippines’ universities and colleges, we may potentially be seeing a big fish hauled to court.

Do fraternities in the Philippines still live up to the original ideals of 'brotherhood'?

Do fraternities in the Philippines still live up to the original ideals of ‘brotherhood’?

The venerable Upsilon Sigma Phi (Upsilon) of the University of the Philippines (UP) is currently in hot water after a 17-year-old student was severely injured in yet another hazing incident, this time under its watch. The victim has reportedly been discharged from hospital after several days’ confinement. Dr. Michael Tan, Chancellor of the UP Diliman campus has confirmed that the family of the victim will be pursuing legal action against Upsilon.

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This case comes in the heels of a De La Salle University (DLSU) College of Saint Benilde student Guillo Cesar Servando dying in hazing rites organised by the Tau Gamma fraternity there.

Upsilon is the oldest and one of the most revered fraternities in the State University. It counts amongst its alumni the likes of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos and Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr, father of current President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III. Interestingly, Alfredo Pascual, the President of the UP himself is an Upsilonian. Nonetheless Pascual condemned the incident going on record to say, “I hope this will be the last time that we shall hear of acts of violence that endanger the lives of our students and produce a climate of fear among the members of the university community and their families.”

Earlier, the University Student Council (USC) of UP, following the incident, reportedly placed on “preventive suspension” several Upsilonian officers to pave the way for the student government body “spearheading” an investigation into the incident.

The initiative to temporarily purge Upsilonians from its roll of officers in order to investigate an incident involving Upsilon is quite noteworthy. Membership in Upsilon has always been seen by UP students (law students in particular) as a ticket to business networking advantages. In the Philippines, there is a prevailing sense of duty to give preferential treatment to fraternity “brods” (Philippinese for fraternity brothers). And because the alumni rolls of Upsilon are populated by an illustrious cast of characters many of whom are powers-that-be of consequence in the Philippines’ business community and political elite, membership in this “brotherhood” is regarded by many as something to die for — often literally!

The point we want to highlight here is that countless Upsilonians currently sit in key positions of power in the Philippines — many of them likely to cross paths with “brods” down the food chain that they may be required, as a matter of routine, to exercise governance or regulatory jurisdiction over. One wonders then how many “special favours” are exchanged and brokered under that principle of “brotherhood” as a matter of routine over the entire business and political landscape. Indeed, going beyond Upsilon into the overall greater network of fraternity “brotherhood” of alumni across the Philippines’ business and political landscape, one can start to imagine the scale of such “brotherhood”-fuelled largesse fraternity “brods” accord one another.

How many laws, for example, have been bent by an officer in a position to do so, so that a “brod” of his or her could be given an unfair advantage over non-“brods”?

How many government projects have been awarded by government officials to “brods” bidding for contracts?

How many stories of indiscretion have been buried by journalists after discovering that “brods” would be implicated or exposed?

Hopefully the significance of this decision of the USC to take Upsilonians out of the loop in an investigation into the culpability of Upsilon Sigma Phi in this latest hazing incident opens our eyes to the broader “brod” culture that may be resulting in unfair practices across Philippine society overall. Perhaps fraternity memebrship should be routinely included in disclosure clauses in agreements between parties in high-value business and government deals. It may be time to seriously evaluate whether fraternities should even continue to be a revered part of higher learning culture in the Philippines in light of all this. Perhaps if these “brotherhoods” were regarded more with tolerance rather than reverence, better and stronger measures to regulate them can finally be put in place.

15 Replies to “Brods investigating brods: Upsilon Sigma Phi in hot water over near-fatal hazing incident”

  1. To be beaten to the point of death; just to become a member of a fraternity is to me Insanity.

    Some of those doing the Hazing are outright Sadists.

    I don’t believe in Fraternities. I was never a member in my university days…

      1. @rakista:

        I am not gay…I am married wit two children. I have a good career in the academic field and now in a Fortune 500 company in the U.S.. I don’t need people to recommend me to a job. Or Fraternity brothers to give me a job. I am also a Reserve Officer in an Elite fighting Force…I can shoot you between the eyes, while I am moving…We are researching on Phaser Guns…

        1. good for you…………………..gay guy. everybody knows there’s a lot of closet people in the military……and you’re one of them

  2. 1st step of BRAINWASHING is Hazing whereby operator inflicts mental/physical pain & stress against his victim. It solidifies control & bond w/in the fraternity/group and make people willing to obey what is instructed of them and perform acts that are ordered of them.

    http://www.drlwilson.com/Articles/BRAINWASH.htm

    Game of Throne
    Theon Greyjoy lands in the hands of the sadistic Ramsay Snow, who after prolonged torturing, mutilation and deception turns him into “Reek” his loyal slave.

    People (majority LAW student) allow themselves to be brutally abused (hazed) bcoz of desire to be a part of a group, thinking that they will be stronger (job, wealth & power) after abuse is Dumb/Stupid. Maybe one reason why Philippines is an AMPAW Republic since ruling profession are Lawyer

    In a Goon Society like the Philippines – people will simply group together to gain majority, to rule over minority and abuse that power. Thus, people (including Leaders) form/join Group for protection, to be stronger and be spoiled in many ways = lazy & idle mind. The Goon concept applies to our Religion, Politics, Government, Media, Showbiz, Sports, public or private sectors. And conflicts will happen if the common interest of a certain group clashes with another group

  3. 1st step of BRAINWASHING is Hazing whereby operator inflicts mental/physical pain & stress against his victim. It solidifies control & bond w/in the fraternity/group and make people willing to obey what is instructed of them and perform acts that are ordered of them.

    http://www.drlwilson.com/Articles/BRAINWASH.htm

    Game of Throne
    Theon Greyjoy lands in the hands of the sadistic Ramsay Snow, who after prolonged torturing, mutilation and deception turns him into “Reek” his loyal slave.

    People (majority LAW student) allow themselves to be brutally abused (hazed) bcoz of desire to be a part of a group, thinking that they will be stronger (job, wealth & power) after abuse is Dumb/Stupid. Maybe one reason why Philippines is an AMPAW Republic since ruling profession are Lawyer

    In a Goon Society like the Philippines – people will simply group together to gain majority, to rule over minority and abuse that power. Thus, people (including Leaders) form/join Group for protection, to be stronger and be spoiled in many ways = lazy & idle mind. The Goon concept applies to our Religion, Politics, Government, Media, Showbiz, Sports, public or private sectors. And conflicts will happen if the common interest of a certain group clashes with another group.

  4. The concept of fraternities has always seemed sinister to me. Why does the Philippines have to copy all the worst aspects of the American systems it adopts?

    1. fraternities weren’t always bad, it’s the contemporary youth and the messed up priorities that mudded “fraternities” to the point where it’s no longer beneficial to improvement of the self and the group, just another reason to partay, sex and attempt to look “astig” to everybody else

  5. What a bunch of sissies. Couldn’t last a funny boy’s game, and now they go home crying to their mommies.

    So unlike Apo Ferdinand.

  6. Short sighted today. ‘Seems to me you’d want one of our important fundamental personal liberties curtailed – that of freedom of assembly and association. ‘Dangerous ideology you are pushing there.

    How would a fraternity be different from the school’s math club? The prestigious alumni association of DLSU/Ateneo? Makati Business Club? The Ilocano society? All the various incarnations of civic rights groups? Those cultish religious groups? PETA and Greenpeace? The Pinoy community in Ca USA? Each of these would have their own brainwashed culture. Each of these would be guilty, in some way, of the “sins” you wrote up there – guilty of some form of “kabayan” culture.

    Let’s regulate them – Are you pushing to authorize Big Brother?

    For ages, USC wanna be leaders in UP have used some form of anti-fraternity indoctrination to gain following among the tibak minded. Should it really be just about making the grade and informal acquaintances? Are you guys sure you know what it means to be in UP?

    The more pressing issue was hazing.

  7. Beating in hazing is no longer part of Fraternities in the U.S. I have some cousins studying in Universities in U.S. and England. And, they told me Fraternities are already out of date in campuses. “Better to concentrate on your studies…” they told me. “Fraternities are interference to studies, if you want to graduate with high grades”….they added.
    High grades could translate to a good career job, after graduation.

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