September 10, 2007

Ang mamatay nang dahil sa 'yo, ang pinatay nang dahil sa wala

Note to the faint of heart: I am angry; no, I am enraged. The words that will follow are angry words. If you are looking for nice, peaceful and sweet-sounding words, skip this one. But if you are as enraged as I am, read on and participate.

Note to those who will take the other side: I welcome constructive debate from people who are willing to put their names where their thoughts are. For masked thugs trolling the blogs of those who oppose you, you have no place in this debate. Go, make yourself scarce; if possible, for all time.

Ang mamatay nang dahil sa 'yo
(to die for you) -- the last line from the Lupang Hinirang, our national anthem, speaks of the nobility of a death that is achieved for a purpose bigger than one's self and one's life. It is--or should be--the ultimate goal of any person who loves--be it country, principle, faith, fellowmen or God.

Certainly not for a fraternity. And most certainly, not for a fraternity that holds itself out to be gentlemen warriors but does not have the integrity to own up to killing one of they would claim as their own nor the courage to name the ones responsible.

Ang pinatay nang dahil sa wala (to be killed for nothing) best describes Cris Mendez and other nameless, faceless victims of this system of barbarism that is the hallmark of fraternity initiations. Indeed, it is as if Cris Mendez's death was for nothing as even the very fraternity he aspired to join would not even come forward to offer a mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

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.

There is no nobility in beating up someone who cannot fight back, there is only cowardice. A warrior with honor never raises his fist or his sword against a defenseless foe, only a thug does. Sigma Rhoan Juan Ponce Enrile described you best: not gentlemen warriors but-a bunch of "thugs" with no character, with no honor, and as the Romulans would say, with no name.

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.

And for the alumni of this collection of thugs that killed Cris Mendez, stop basking in romanticized glory and do the right thing--withdraw ALL support from these thugs and let the law take its course.

1 comment:

wernicke said...

They are, supposed to be, Seekers of the Right.

I am terribly, deeply disappointed the way things turned out in this incident. Everybody knows which fraternity Cris Mendez joined and no matter how much legal might their alumni combine to defend their resident brods, and possibly even some alumni, they all know as we all know who is morally responsible for the death of Cris Mendez.

Although it should not really come as a surprise, I am still appalled at the values, or the lack of it, that was exhibited by their Council by taking the position of disowning the hazing rites. While they might have in mind "saving" the lives of those responsible by keeping them out of jail, what about their conscience? Essentially, they are teaching those who were participants in the hazing that at all costs, we will coddle you and defend you in court--- you need not suffer the legal consequences of your acts. As to the dissonance that they will inflict on those who are responsible, they are in effect teaching them to forget their conscience, to put oneself above others, and to ignore the gravity of the offense of, for some of them, taking the life of one's friend. They may have saved those who are responsible from being accountable for their crime but the Council has also left them with an indelible lesson - that there is no right or wrong, just flawed brotherhood.

I am sorry if I may have offended my friends from that fraternity, those who are purportedly Seekers of the Right. But then again, I may have written what you are unable to say, those of you who are with conscience and a sense of right and wrong.