Niño Calinao, Cris Anthony Mendez, Dennis Venturina at ang mga diyos sa UP

Habang pinapanood ko sa telebisyon ang ulat tungkol sa hinagpis ng pamilya ni Cris Anthony Mendez, mag-aaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas at pinaniniwalaang biktima ng hazing, bumabalik sa akin ang matinding kalungkutan ng mga naiwan ng kaibigan naming si Niño Calinao, na pinatay sa UP campus noong 1999.

Si Aling Nena, nanay ni Niño, ang naalala ko habang kinakapanayam ang luhaang ina ni Cris. Si Narjay, kaisa-isa at nakababatang kapatid ni Niño, ang nakikita ko habang ikinukuwento ng nakababatang kapatid ni Cris — O CA sa kanyang mga kaibigan — ang pangako ng kanyang kuya na susuportahan ang kanyang pag-aaral.

Niño CalinaoKung si Cris ay napaulat na bagong kasapi ng isang fraternity, si Niño ay hindi miyembro ng alinmang ganyang kapatiran sa UP. Ngunit sa kanilang pagkamatay ay nauugnay ang iisang fraternity–ang makapangyarihan at kilalang Sigma Rho Fraternity.

Ayon sa mga ulat sa pahayagan, nagkaroon ng rambol ang Sigma Rho at ang kalabang Scintilla Juris noong Pebrero 12, 1999. Kabilang sa mga nabugbog si Yasser Abbas ng Sigma Rho at kasama naman sa mga nakarambulan nila ang isang Bryan Balugin ng Scintilla Juris. Si Balugin ay sinasabing kahawig ni Niño. Nang isinumpang hapon ng Pebrero 19, 1999, nakaupo si Niño sa tambayan ng UP Volleyball Club na malapit sa tambayan ng Scintilla Juris.

Isang araw bago pinatay si Niño, kasama niyang kumain sa Beach House–ang naghahain ng pinakamasarap na barbeque sa UP–ang mga noo’y kabarkada namin. Buhay na buhay at masayahin si Niño. Napag-usapan pa nga nila ang pagkakapatay sa mismong lugar na iyon kay Dennis Venturina. (Si Venturina, Sigma Rhoan, ay napatay sa pakikipagrambulan sa Scintilla Juris noong Disyembre 8, 1994.) Sino ang mag-aakalang kinabukasan ay mangyayari kay Niño ang sinapit ni Venturina?

Ganito ang isang bahagi ng tulang inialay kay Niño ng kaklase naming si Remir Macatangay:

until he was plucked just days ago-
of fleshly blades which serve
coward gods who drink blood for
the rituals of vengeance, or worst,
for the virtue of plucking flower buds.

Ilang taon matapos mapaslang si Niño, wala nang balita tungkol sa kahawig daw nitong si Bryan, samantalang sa isang magasing pambabae, nailathala ang panayam kay Yasser tungkol sa kanyang sex life.

Samantala, ayon sa mga ulat, hihinalang si CA ay na-recruit sa frat ni Ariel Paolo Ante, na ayon sa kanyang Friendster profile ay kasapi ng Sigma Rho Fraternity. Kasamahan ni CA si Ariel sa NCPAG Student Council.

NCPAG Student Council
Magkasama sina Ariel Paolo (gitna) at Cris (dulong kanan) sa NCPAG Student Council.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.

Baka puwede silang hingan ng reaksiyon tungkol sa pagkamatay ni CA. Si Villafuerte ay napaulat na nagsabing kung ang ikinamatay ni CA ay hazing, hindi ito kasalanan ng buong fraternity, kundi ng isang brother lamang. Aba, at may ganoon! Akala ko ba…

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.

Sa gitna ng muling pagdapo ng kamatayang dala ng karahasan ng mga kapatiran sa Pamantasang hirang, nananaig ang katahimikan. May narinig akong pati nga raw pamunuan ng UP, pinapayuhan ang mga mag-aaral na manahimik na lamang–nakikiisa ba sila sa omerta ng mga diyos sa UP? Sana naman, hindi ito totoo.

Ayon sa pahayag ni UP Diliman Chancellor Sergio Cao…

We therefore appeal to the fraternities, particularly their alumni, to take the lead in transforming the culture of violence into more productive endeavors to benefit the University and society.

Hindi ko alam kung madadala pa sila sa ganyang mga panawagan. Hindi kaya mas mabuting ipagbawal na lang sa Unibersidad ang mga walang silbing fraternity na pumapatay sa mga kapwa nila iskolar ng bayan gaya nina Niño at CA?

Sina Niño at CA ay kapwa laki sa hirap at siyang pag-asang mag-aahon sa kani-kanilang mga pamilya. Sina Niño at CA ay pinaslang ng kulturang nagpapalayaw sa taong akala’y sa kanila ang mundo, ng mga taong nakalimot na hindi sila Diyos!

Mula sa iba pang bloggers:

Links:

29 thoughts on “Niño Calinao, Cris Anthony Mendez, Dennis Venturina at ang mga diyos sa UP

  1. fraternites are organizations para sa mga walang social life at nagfee-feeling na cool. sige, patayin nyo ko. hahahaha. honestly, siguro nman masaya ang frat kung talagang nagtutulungan mga tao, hindi nagpapatayan no? 😀

  2. @ynon: Oo nga eh. Sino ba ang tunay na barbarian ang asal?

    @az: oo nga eh, di ko rin maintindihan kung bakit may sakitan at patayan pa sa kultura nila.

  3. Fraternities just need to OUTGROW this senseless initiation rites. If their ideals are really progressive, as I’ve read elsewhere, then I’m certain that there are other more human ways of initiating kids into supposedly brotherhood or sisterhood. Because, frankly, I don’t see any camaraderie when they just “dumped” Cris at the hospital and disappeared from the face of the earth.

    That’s just outright cowardice.

  4. Pwede nyong ma-trace lahat ng nag-txt at namilit kay Cris na sumali. Basta may court order kayo, Globe or Smart can trace all those who texted him and eventually pwede nyo ring malaman kung saan sila nagtatago thru GPRS.

    PLS. GAWIN NIYO NA BAGO PA SILA LUMABAS NG BANSA!!
    WALA KASI KONG NABALITAAN NA MAY HOLD DEPARTURE ORDER SA MGA SUSPECTS.

  5. Senseless.

    The death of Cris adds yet another chapter to UP’s history of pointless fraternity violence. Another promising ‘iskolar ng bayan’ dying for membership to a so-called respectable and influential fraternity raises questions on what is truly the role of this kind of organizations to society and to the self.

    But bear in mind, fraternities and sororities are not all the same. Let us not judge so hastily.

    As a member of a nationalist and alternative sisterhood, we stand together in condemning the barbaric acts of hazing and frat wars. We should mobilize the youth into becoming more responsible and critical citizens of this country instead of lining them up as punching bags. We do not mold future leaders by taking away their right to live and stripping away their potentials.

    Fraternity and sorority members, let us prove them wrong by serving society and fighting the real demons of the prevailing oppressive structure that has tolerated hierarchy and abuse to the weak.

    Break away from the tradition! Rebel for the worthy cause! If we are to die, it is better to pass away as heroes and not just victims… Let us recall the victims of political killings who had served the people selflessly and fought courageously for till the very end. These are those we should look up to and not the known frat or soro alumni in their comfy seats in the administration.

    On joining frats and soros, choose and act wisely, isko…

    Align with an organization which would not leave you for dead but would advance your character and productivity through a life-long brotherhood and sisterhood and unified commitment to serve the people.

    NOTE: Thank you so much for your very cool classes at CMC, Sir Teodoro! I really loved your enlightening lectures but unfortunately it did not really reflect on my midterm grade for Journ ethics during my last year as undergrad. But it’s better acted out than just written, right? haha… More power, sir!

  6. “shout for justice, rock for cris: a benefit concert for cris anthony mendez”
    all proceeds will go to cris’ brother renz (for college education). september 28, bahay ng alumni UP Diliman QC.

    punta po tayo

  7. The Cover up

    Another iskolar ng bayan has fallen, and another injustice is to be born. As the University mourns for the death of another fraternity neophyte who was once known as Cris Anthony Mendez and whose body was found black and blue on the morgue of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, a cover up looms and is about to strike and insult the iskolars ng bayan, once again.

    As the media starts to shift its attention to other much more popular issues, and the university sits still, doing nothing further but to give a preventive suspension to the leaders of the Sigma Rho fraternity while trying to do something that for them is called “investigation”, and leaving the matter to some creatures we call as the “police”, the violent hoodlums who have wretched the body of fourth year NCPAG student Cris Mendez would still be free to roam the outskirts of the university and continue the university’s violent tradition of hazing. The beating and the senseless death of an iskolar ng bayan within the realms of the University of the Philippines has happened more than once, and a significant number of fraternities within the university such as the Alpha Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Omega, Beta Sigma, Scintilla Juris, Upsilon Sigma Phi and other traditional and well known fraternities each had a victim of this senseless sadistic practice. Each and every time, the victim is an iskolar ng bayan whose tuition is paid for by the taxes of the people, and who has been grown and raised by their parents through blood and sweat, and who is only to be killed by his supposedly would be brothers who has fed him with bull that “timeless brotherhood could be won through pain and blood”. What’s worse is the fact that, each and every one of these fraternities lived and got away with it, they continue to thrive, and roam the campus with their arrogance, and the thinking that their broad connections and rich alumni imply that they could act as gods.

    Yet these incidents and orientations are only manifestations of the society’s and the university’s backward and feudal culture, the culture of the “padrino” or the gangster-like godfather system, in which money and power significantly correlate, and by which people could be silenced, through money, through harassment, or through death. The university’s administration seems to have always taken the wrong path in dealing with its problems, taking a reactive rather than a proactive approach to stop the death and the violence in the university, only acting if someone has already been beaten, only acting if someone has already been kidnapped, only acting if someone has already been killed. If the university had only taken measures such as fixing the loopholes on the university rules and regulations, and giving a closer check at the rights to passage as well as the organizational rules of fraternities, sororities and other organizations, incidents such as Cris’ death could have been prevented. Yet the University Administration has given more priority to the establishment of call centers, establishment of mobile telecommunication sites, and other money making measures than the welfare of the iskolars ng bayan.

    As the Sigma Rho fraternity remains silent over the issue of Cris’ death, the university as well as other self righteous individuals from the media takes advantage of the hype to cover up other issues within the university, such as the demolition of communities in Pook Ricarte, Palaris and Dagohoy, the tuition and other fee increases, the oppression of campus press freedom, and other significant issues which threaten the rights of each and every iskolar ng bayan. The issue of the Sigma Rho fraternity’s silence has also been used to distract the people from other national issues such as the “Hello, Garci” trial against the stone-faced, fake president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

    We, as iskolars ng bayan, as students privileged to have our tuition be paid for by the farmers, workers, our parents and the people, must collectively stand against hazing, rumble and other fraternity violence. We should condemn such cover ups and barbaric acts of senseless violence while being critical against the university’s and the government’s repressive acts. We should remain vigilant against such backward, feudal, and sadistic practices of such individuals and groups who have no one and nothing to think about but themselves. We must stand together in seeking for justice and truth for all the victims of fraternity violence, for no justice could be won in this system which only honors those with fat pockets, and those who hold the strings.

    JUSTICE FOR CRIS ANTHONY MENDEZ!!!

    JUSTICE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF FRATERNITY VIOLENCE!!!

    CONDEMN ALL FORMS OF FRATERNITY VIOLENCE AND COVER-UPS!!!

  8. itz indeed hard tinking na kailangan pang may masaktan at mamatay juz b’coz of joining fraternities. I thought the goal was for brotherhood… then, why should you hurt or worse kill your brother. itz so senseless and rude as well. I wish violence in fraternities would soon go to an end.

  9. @az not all fratrnities are like what you think they are. Not all fraternities adhere to that violent tradition. I am a fratman too and when I was still on the initiation process, I didn’t experience anything Cris and other hazing victims experienced. May be I’m just lucky, I choose the right frat.

    @jm I’m with you

    @triskelion kronk what a senseless thing to say. kailanman ay hindi nagng ganyan ang kapatiran. ang sinabi mo ay nagpapakita lamang ng mga prinsipyo nyong mga Tau Gamma

  10. They overdid the initiation…dapat sana yung kaya lng ng katawan nya ung binigay nila…at sa mga hindi pabor sa hazing ganun talga…kaya malaki ang pag galang ng mga fratmen sa mga frat/soro kc nasaktan sila para sa pangalan ng frat nila dugo,pawis at paghihirap ang ibinigay nila,,,napaka walang kwenta naman kung tapik tapik lng ang matatanggap mo..tapos brod ka na?…hindi mo talga maintindihan kung hindi ka brod or sis…To all the haters we cant blame you guys..Cris is in God’s place now….may herest in peace…

  11. Ang fraternities ay samahan para sa kapatiran ngunit sa gayon ito ay hindi para sa tinatawag na pagkakaisa o kung ano pa man. Ang fraternity ngayon ay maaari na nating tawaging samahan tungo sa kamatayan na swerte kung matakasan. Bakit ba kailangan sumali sa mga ganyang bagay? Patibayan? Pagtutulungan? O pagka-nutil?

    Hindi hahantong sa kamatayan ang pagsali sa mga fraternities kung hindi kakalimutan ng tao na hindi siya ang Diyos. Maaari ngang siya ang nagdedesisyon para sa sarili pero ang pagpapasya na makipagsapalaran kay kamatayan ay pagka-inutil at pagkamakasarili! Sa pagsali sa ganitong mga samahan, hindi maiisip ng tao ang mga taong maaaring maiwan niya. Anu ang sasabihin niyo? Giinawa nila iyon para sa pamilya nila? Hangal! Pinag-aral tayo para tayo ay dumanas ng hirap na magpapatibay sa atin hindi tayo pinag-aral para dumanas ng hirap na dulot ay kamatayan.

    Hindi solusyon ang fraternities sa proteksyon. Hindi sagot ang fraternities sa madaling paghahanap ng trabaho. Maaaring may tulong ito sa iba pero higit ang dala nitong kapahamakan kaysa kabutihan kaya dapat na itong ituring na salot. Hindi kailangang makipagsapalaran dahil ang buhay ay hindi umiikot sa kapalaran kundi ito ay buhay ng isang paglalakbay para sa kaligayahan hindi paglalakbay para sa paghihirap at kamatayan.

  12. we know ARIEL PAOLO ANTE
    we did’nt know that he was hiding skeletons in his closet
    we know where he is, c’mon may justice p bang ntitira dito sa pilipinas???
    ARIEL PAOLO ANTE is hiding from her woman’s skirt na UP student din taking law
    we know where he is, he’s working right now hiding everything..grabe! we thought na ok siya tpos malalaman nmen n gnun we want jstice for chris mendez.!!!!!!!!

  13. walang kwenta ang pagsali sa ganyang klase ng grupo lalong masisisra ang buhay ng mga kabataan kng silay lalahok sa ganitong grupo.

Post a reply