Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Who is to blame?

More than a week ago, I received a text message that a student in UPLB died of hazing during initiation rites of the APO fraternity. Soon the hype over his death began - news crew from different TV stations began covering the incident. Students were wearing white to show mourning. There was a candlelight ceremony for him. Graffiti against APO fraternity began appearing in different sites in the campus. He was suddenly a "hero" or a "celebrity" overnight.

Yes, we should ask for justice, justice for a life taken. It is sad that it had taken a life to realize the twisted way most UPLB organizations initiate their applicants. The org-oriented UPLB community needs to re-evaluate its view on

Not only was a life taken but many others were damaged. Marlon Villanueva's friends are devastated. Resident members of the fraternity face the threat of dismissal from the university or even imprisonment.

We should ask for justice but we should not take Marlon Villanueva to be a hero or an unwilling victim. Had he lived and survived the initiation, he would have participated the same vicious tradition. Justice should be served, but it should not stop at that. The entire destructive and violent cycle must be broken- or there will surely be another Marlon Villanueva.

* this post was inspired by the argument Sir Den gave regarding the issue.


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