You are on page 1of 26

RICARDO M.

ZARCO
DONALD J. SHOEMAKER

Report on Student
Organization Conflicts,
University of the Philippines,
Diliman, 1938-2000

This report presents patterns of fraternity violence in the University of the


Philippines, Diliman based on historical data from the late the period since the
1930s to the 1990s. Recollections of professors and students, as well as recorded
incidents of violence, which include inter-fraternity violence and in the campus
based on police records, reports and communications with UP administrators
were analyzed.
Violence is more common in fraternities than other types of student
organization. There have been six recorded deaths connected with fraternity
hazing since 1954. Since 1969 five deaths occurred including inter-fraternity
violence. Three hazing deaths occurred in the 1990s, two more in the late 1990s,
and the last in 2000. Student organizations did not assume the nature of gangs
until the 1960s. The number and seriousness of violenceincreased in the 1990s.
Past violence involved less lethal weapons while serious weapons increased
in the 1990s. Most inter-fraternity incidents occur during the daylight hours,
around noon, and in the late afternoon, near academic buildings and appear to be
motivated by reprisal, suggesting elements of planning.
Longer-range planning informed by an understanding of what motivates to
join organizations such fraternities will be more effective in preventing violence.
Keywords: fraternity, campus violence, UP Oilman, hazing
Philippine Sociological Review (2012) Vol. 60 pp. 19-70

19

INTRODUCTION
is paper serves as a follow-up to a report presented to the faculty
nd administration of the University of the Philippines, Diliman
Tampus (UPD) in December 1995, and published in the Philippine
Sociological Review (Zarco and Shoemaker 1995). The earlier report
covered the time period of January 1, 1991 through December 1994.
This current report covers the 1930s up to the year 2000.
This study makes use of data on campus incidents of violence
as recorded by the University of the Philippines Police Department,
Quezon City campus. In addition, information for this report comes
from investigations conducted by various administrative units in
U.P. Diliman and by the senior author.
The purpose of this report is to describe past and present
incidents of inter-fraternity violence in the U.P. Diliman campus.
The report includes information on incidents of violence, the
fraternities involved in the fracases, the weapons used and the
injuries incurred in the assaults, and the times and locations of the
violence incidents. It concludes with a discussion of recommended
strategies to prevent future occurrences of inter-fraternity violence
in the U.P. Diliman campus.
While this paper discusses histOrical and contemporary patterns
of student violence, the focus will be on two major violence issues:
that of inflicting bodily harm to applicants for membership into
student organizations; and the violence between student factions,
particularly among fraternities. These are the predominant types of
violence problems encountered by U.P. authorities in the past 35
years.
Ricardo M. Zarco (1930-2011) was Professor Emeritus, Department.of the
Sociology, University of the Philippines, Diliman. Donald). Shoemaker is
Professor at the Department of Sociology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
State University, Blacksburg. The authors wish to thank the research assistance
of Marion R. Dulnuan and Cecilia Cabusas. This study was supported by funds
from the Center for Integrative and Development Studies, University of the
Masked and naked: fratemity neophytes at the Oblation Run in
in UP Diliman. (Photo by Joseph Ceas)

Philippines.

21

There are other forms of student violence. However, an investigation


revealed that those, which occur outside the influence of student
organizations, are insignificant. The most frequent ones, and the ones
that incur the most serious consequences, are severe fraternity hazing
and gang fights between fraternities.

PART I. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND


The Pre-World War II Years, 1938 to December 1945
This period in the University of the Philippines was one of uncertainty,
both for the Filipino scholar and the university student in a secular
governmental institution of learning. Just how far new freedoms
extended was something yet to be discovered.
Coming from a doctrine-guided Spanish colonial education, a
secular governmental university was a new experience. It had a different
orientation. The concept of academic freedom was still vague, but was
starting to gain meaning. Students were discovering how far they could
push their activities - how far the university would set the limits to
student activity.
There were two U.P. presidencies over the pre-World WarlI years
-Dr. Jorge C. Bocobo (1934-1939) and Dr. Bienvenido M. Gonzalez
(1939-1943, 1945-1951). These presidents had slightly different
objectives, were in extremely different situations, and dealt with
political and governmental pressures on the university in different
ways. While the direction of U.P. 's thrust was issued, the administrative
concerns differed under the two presidencies, and these affected student
activity.

Method
The 2nd World War and the battle for Manila in 1945 destroyed most
of the office and archival records. The papers that survived were also
discarded when the U.P. Main Campus transferred to Diliman, Quezon
City in December 1948. Furthermore, U.P. had no central record
depository involving student disciplinary cases, making it even more
difficult to secure documents for this paper. For these reasons, the most

22

practical method in revisiting the past was to interview individuals who


were students of U.P. at certain selected periods: the pre-war years from
1938 to December of 1941; the early post-war years from OctoberNovember of 1945 to 1954; and the 1960s, from 1960 to 1966.
A total of 14 undergraduate respondents were purposively
selected for the pre-World War II period. In choosing the respondents,
precedence was given to those who continued contact with the
University as graduate students, as faculty, and as residents on campus
over those with whom the University lost contact. Respondents were
asked to reflect on a series of questions before giving their replies. The
questions include:
1. Were there student factions that violently fought with each
other during your student days? (This question was asked of all
respondents in the study.)
2. Were students subjected to violent initiation practices when they
applied for membership into fraternities and sororities?
3. Could you remember a single case of students inflicting violence on
others, e.g. students and other persons, during your student days?
4. What was student misbehavior like during your student days?

Results
No student organizationwas in violent conflict with other
organizations or against individual students during this period. Out
of the 14 respondents, not one could recall a single violent incident
between student organizations during the reference years. One
respondent, who resided adjacent to the campus, claimed that there
were a few violent skirmishes between fraternities before 1938. But
the University was able to implement effective measures so much so
that in 1938 to December of 1941, no fighting occurred. During this
period, student organizations were competing in refereed debates on
national issues. Student organizations also focused on campus control
through student elections. They competed for seats in the student
council and for the chairmanship of the student council. Furthermore,
students were after the much coveted post of editor-in-chief of the
University paper. Violence, however, was never applied in acquiring

23

these positions. Was there hazing or violent initiations? Hardly any


violent incidents were spontaneously recalled. No student was killed
because of hazing. Initiations were mild. Occasional injuries were
reported, but these were slight physical injuries. Student applicants
for membership into organizations were hazed but not brutally
beaten.
Unless prodded, not one of the 14 respondents could remember a
single episode of violence during their pre-war student days. Perhaps
U.P. then was peaceful and tranquil, or the process of recalling events
that took place 57 to 60 years ago is severely limited. Nevertheless,
there were violent incidents and cases of student misbehavior. One of
these is the mashing incident, which occurred during the U.P. torch
parade in the early evening hours of January 14, 1941.
The torch parade was organized by U.P. President Bienvenido
Gonzalez, Vice-President H.B. Reyes, and Professor Pedro Franco,
and had Jose Yulo, speaker of the Philippine National Assembly,
as guest of honor. The organizers invited students from 19 other
colleges and universities in Manila to join the festivity, which started
at sundown at the nearby Legislative Building grounds. Soon after,
sections of the crowd turned into frenzied mobs and molested the girls.
The ROTC cadet officers who were earlier assigned to protect the
girls proved powerless. The mashing incident led to the investigation
of the commandant of the U.P. ROTC, Major Ricardo Poblete, whose
cadet officers were supposed to provide security for the women student
participants. Days after the incident the loudest protest against the U.P.
organizers came from the head of a nearby exclusive girls school (The
Philippine Herald 1941; Lazaro 1985).
Another violent incident was the arrest and prosecution of a U.P.
male student for the murder-assassination of his family's political
rival. The murder occurred on the eve of September 20, 1935; and
the alleged weapon was a military training rifle believed to have been
taken from the U.P. Rifle Range Armory. The first group of suspects relatives of the student - was arrested and later acquitted. The second
batch of suspects, which include the U.P. student, was arrested almost

24

three years later. The student was tried in 1937 and was acquitted by
the Supreme Courtin October 24, 1940 (Francisco 1965).
One of the most celebrated cases of authoritarian overreaction to an
imagined or invented student misbehavior was the Albert Discourtesy
case:
Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Philippines, conducted a surprise
visit to the U.P. main campus to see if the on-going construction of the U.P.
Rifle Range beside the College of Engineering building was excessively
obstructing the parade ground. Deciding to extend the inspection into the
academic units, he, with his entourage of three cabinet secretaries, and
a military aide, entered the College of Engineering building. President
Quezon met four ROTC cadets in uniform. The cadets were so surprised
that they forgot to salute the President. Quezon sternly lectured to them
how to respect the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the
country. The President was in this foul mood when he went to the 2nd floor.
As he looked into the classroom, he saw a student slouching with feet
raised, resting against the back of a seat in front. As Quezon approached
the portal, Professor Antonio Albert saw him. His class stood up and
Albert met the President excitedly. The President upbraided Professor
Albert and scolded him for allowing his student to slouch and raise his feet
without his objection. Albert felt humiliated in front of the students and
Quezon's entourage. He answered back, which further infuriated Quezon.
The President further told Albert that he was not standing ramrod straight
while addressing the President of the country. Professor Albert by this
time offered to resign if he was accused of not knowing his responsibilities
as professor. U.P. President Jorge Bocobo, who was by then standing
near Quezon, was ordered by the latter to accept the resignation. The
U.P. President called for an emergency meeting of the Board of Regents
and by 9:00 P.M. of the same day, the board accepted the resignation
of Professor Antonio Albert with a reprimand. The next morning at 8:00
A.M.,Professor Albert was reinstated by U.P. President Bocobo. Albert
went to Malacanang Palace to apologize. He was accompanied by his
father Vicente Albert, who was then the Supreme Court's clerk of court.

25

President Quezon redundantly ordered U.P. President Bocobo to reinstate


Albert (Salamanca 1985; Salamanca 1939).

Analysis
A review of the known, campus violence incidents and student
cases of misbehavior reveals no consistent pattern. In general, most
cases were not recurrent or predictable. For instance, the U.P. mashing
incident has not recurred as of this report and the murder case earlier
mentioned had no equivalent in the years to follow.
The publicized Albert discourtesy incident was not a case of student
misbehavior because the offending student was never identified,
warned, reprimanded, or chastised in any way.' The case was actually
seen as one involving the misbehavior of a Philippine President who,
at that instance, was tactless, inconsiderate of other people's feelings,
and cruel to his subordinates.
Hazing was tolerable and mild. It must be made clear that hazing in
its severest form did not originate in the University of the Philippines.
Its practice has been observed even before the pre-war years covered
by the study, in the Philippine Constabulary Academy, the forerunner
of the present Philippine Military Academy, then located in Camp
Allen, Baguio (Alcaraz 1997).

The Early Post-War Years, August 1945 to 1954


The University of the Philippines reopened in August of 1945. In
the writer's opinion, this was a bit too early since suffering from four
years of war was not over for many. Hundreds of our students died or
were killed by the enemy. All the buildings in U.P. were destroyed,
some completely, others partially. Very few students were ready to go
to school. The enrollment for the reopening semester of 1945 was only
2,199, a mere one-third of what it was in 1939-40 (A!caraz 1985). The
writer visited the University months after it reopened and noticed the
A male respondent, an engineering student in 1939, said that he was
inside the classroom when the Albert Discourtesy Case happened. He
knew the identity of the "feet-raising student." He recalls that the student
was never identified, scolded, or reprimanded by the U.P. authorities.
26

absence of normalcy. Privation was a dominant condition. Survival


was still a major concern for many. The stench of corpses pervaded.
Unexploded bombs were still scattered on the streets. Few colleges
reopened; departments that required laboratory equipment were not
operational.

Methodology
We could not find a single U.P. student who enrolled when U.P.
reopened in 1945. However, four male students, including the writer,
enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts from 1947 to 1950, were
contacted and became respondents for this post-war period.

Results
Student activities were revived. The student paper, The Philippine
Collegian, was reborn in September 1946. The U.P. Student Council
was reactivated right after U.P. reopened.
By 1947, fraternities were found to be recruiting members, and
hazing was noted to be more severe. Three of the four respondents
became fraternity members. They were slapped, subjected to
abdominal and upper-arm fistic blows; one was horse whipped on the
legs; one was ordered to eat two cigarettes; and one was ordered to
drink water from a toilet bowl. These initiations were held at night,
some inside the campus, others outside. One of the respondents was
made to eat two large loaves of bread, drink a gallon of water, and jog
on the parade ground until he vomited. Two respondents were told to
extinguish lighted cigarettes with their bare fingers. These practices
continued even as the University transferred to Diliman, Quezo City
in December 1948 (with the actual massive transfer taking place in
early January to June 1949).
In April and May 1949, during summer classes, the writer witnessed
fraternity initiations held in one of the academic buildings. These
buildings were huge barn-like structures, left open in the evenings
as the campus was completely deserted by sunset. Security was lax
because there were not enough inhabitants in the new university town.
Privacy was ensured in these buildings for fraternities to conduct

27

initiations. The writing paddles of the classroom chairs were ripped


off and used as clubs. Applicants were struck on the back, buttocks,
and legs, slapped hard, subjected to fistic blows in the abdomen and
on the upper arm. These blows came when the applicant could not
answer questions to the satisfaction of their fraternity masters.
The wide expanse of the new campus and the privacy it offered
the fraternities made it an ideal spot for initiations. Curiously,
there were no deaths. The writer could not recall if doctors in
the U.P. Health Service treated those injured. The U.P. Deans of
student discipline, such as the Deans of Men and Women, were
most probably unaware of these events because secrecy was strictly
practiced by both victims and tormentors. It is unlikely that U.P.
President Gonzalez knew or even heard of rumors of such incidents.
Data - apart from anecdotal evidence from the three U.P. students
and the writer, who were students within the periodof 1945 to 1954
- suggest that the Deans of discipline, such as the Deans of Men
and Women, the U.P. Presidents (Dr. B. Gonzalez and Dr. Vidal
Tan), and U.P. Health Service doctors, all knew that fraternities and
sororities were employing severe initiation practices.
In July 18, 1954, Gonzalo Mariano Albert died after he had
undergone a part of the initiation process conducted by Upsilon Sigma
Phi fraternity. The young Albert developed stomach pain, was rushed to
a hospital, diagnosed, and was undergoing an appendectomy when he
died on the operating table. An investigation committee of Philippine
President Ramon Magsaysay, composed of Secretary Fred Ruiz
Castro, Dr. Arturo Garcia, and Professor Vicente Lontok, conducted
the inquiry and submitted their findings and recommendations in a
report on October 29, 1954 (Alcaraz 1954).
The investigation conducted by the Committee virtually opened up
a "can of worms" and exposed the violence, immoralities, and practices
brought into the University by some student organizations.
Dr. Patrocino Valenzuela, the Dean of Men, in a speech dated
September 2, 1950 (in Diliman), on the subject of University
Fraternities and Sororities, summarized the advantages and
disadvantages of these student organizations. Dean Valenzuela
28

mentioned brutalities, indecencies, and barbarous practices applied


during initiations. In support of this assertion, Valenzuela read a
document entitled:
Violation Notes of the U.P. Upsilon Sigma Phi:

Embarrassed two freshmen girls on campus


1946 Ten (frat men) violated initiation rules committed
in Santo Tomas University
Five (frat men) violated initiation rules committed
in the Philippine Women's University
Hanged an applicant by his thumbs for two hours.
Extracted finger nail of an applicant with a pair of
scissors. Was sick because of this.
Made to drink a glass (full) of "Toyo"
Ponciano Mathay (a student) was made to drink
two bottles of gin in Malabon (Alcaraz 1954:
73L76)
1945

A further perusal of the Albert Case Report show testimonies by


U.P. students, faculty, and the University Catholic Chaplain,that reveal
in detail the nature of the practices of fraternity and sorority initiation
rituals. The following testimonies are under oath:
Maria Mercedes Lozez, music student, member of the Sigma Delta
Phi, a sister sorority of the Upsilon Sigma Phi - applicants were
ordered to drink the sorority cocktail consisting of a mixture of
castor oil, Tabasco, vinegar and crushed pepper. Made to walk on
their knees from the gate to door of the house. If they refuse to drink
the sorority cocktail, they were made to drink more, or required to
put out her tongue, upon which Sloan liniment is poured on her
tongue resulting in the loss of appetite (perhaps taste) for several
days. They are also made to smoke a common cigar passed from
one neophyte (perhaps applicant is the appropriate term); required
to inhale and exhale smoke through their noses and mouths; spin

29

like a top until dizzy and collapse; dance suggestive dances; raise
their skirts to their waists (Alcaraz 1954:40-4 1).
Teodoro Abueva Jr. Advertising man. Initiated into the Sigma Rho
in 1946. He believes that the presence of the faculty adviser would
not make a difference. When he was initiated, the fraternity adviser,
Professor Quisumbing, was there. Believes that they (fraternities) are
responsible for many undemocratic practices in the campus elections.
Fraternities and sororities control political and social positions in the
campus. The kidnapping of representatives of student council and
junior councils. He is for the total abolition of frats and sororities
because the good done is not balanced by the harm to the students
and the university as a whole (Alcaraz 1954:39).
Teodoro Tavita, Liberal Arts Student, applied to Beta Sigma, July
1954, brought to the South dorm, was paddled nine times on the
butt, kicked, kneed, and slapped. Could not walk as a result of kicks
he received; parts kicked were bluish, swollen. He had a physical
exam at the infirmary (U.P. Health Service) after. He denounced
the frat men to Dean A. Abejo (Alcaraz 1954:46).
The U.P. Catholic Chaplain, Fr. John Patrick Delaney S.J., details
the varied torture practices such as the "pinch and grip," burning
with a cigarette, whipping, and flogging, immortalities, the stomach
treatment, and other barbarous practices (Alcaraz 1954:78-80).
Armando J. Malay, columnist of Manila Chronicle, on July 22,
1948, Thursday, mentions that Prof I. Pansaliguis' son was tortured,
his nails removed
Tony Viterbo, son of Prof. Viterbo was beaten until he vomited
blood, lost consciousness, and became a raving maniac before
he was hospitalized. All these were the result of applications for
membership into the Upsilon Sigma Phi.
How could the sudden change of initiation or hazing severity
increase in contrast to the pre-war days? Professor Vicente Sinco of
the College of Law was asked this question. He, without hesitation,
blamed the laxity of moral standards that (usually) follow a war
(Alcaraz 1954:45)
Figure I. Manila Chronicle. 29 July 1954, page 4.

30

31

The investigation committee also suggests the severity of hazing to


have increased since liberation (the liberation of U.P. PGH areas took
place in February 1945) (Alcaraz 1954: 75).Even the editorial cartoon
of the Manila Chronicle follows this reasoning.
But can we simply blame World War II for the sudden surge of student
campus violence that includes torturing applicants for admission into
fraternities and sororities? Very severe hazing for freshmen cadets or plebes
in the Philippine Military Academy existed long beforeWorid War II:
.The most savage bullying or humiliation of plebes aptly called the
"Hazing of the Century", happened in 1935 at the Philippine Constabulary
Academy, forerunner of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) at Camp
Allen, in Baguio. The "hazers" (perpetrators) were members of class 1937.
The victims belonged to class 1938. One of the plebes was bayoneted
in the belly, some vomited blood, while others passed out under savage
beating. No deaths were reported. This hazing became so scandalous that
it angered the then Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon (19351944). A seven man investigating committee took all of three weeks to
complete the probe, which was held behind closed doors at the spacious
Academic Library. After the investigation, President Quezon motored up
to Baguio to confront the entire cadet corps. Before an assembled somber
corps of cadets, he announced the committee's findings. He approved its
recommendation to kick out of the academy eight-second class (junior)
cadets found guilty of brutal hazing. President Quezon did not spare his
own nephew, Second Class Cadet Pedro Q. Molina, who was among
the dismissed. They were all members of the class of 1937. Six other
class 1937 cadets were found guilty of minor infractions of hazing. They
were given demerits and given punishment tours like walking the parade
grounds for long hours. Not only did President Quezon dismiss the guilty
cadets, he also threatened to close the academy, "Should this thing happen
again", he roared, "I shall close the school!" (Alcaraz 1954:75)

Analysis
Combined anecdotal and historical data, particularly of the Albert
Case, show that student campus violence in the form of hazing or

initiations had suddenly increased in severity after U.P. resumed


operations in 1945. Blaming World War II is simple and expedient,
and even partly true. But what could explain the brutal hazing that took
place in 1935 at the Philippine Constabulary Academy?
We must remember that cadets, as well as U.P. students, do not
inform their school administrators. Not to squeal, to hide from
administrators the true state of affairs, is a value studentsand cadets
uphold. For instance, a common practice in U.P. then was the kidnapping
and detaining of students from rival organizations who were running
for coveted positions. To prevent individuals from registering for a
council position during the elections, these "victims" were kidnapped
but royally treated while in custody, which lasted for half a day to two
days. No complaint was ever filed by victims.
The recommendations given in lieu of the Albert Case inquiry
were not accepted. The U.P. President, the Deans of Men and
Women, dormitory chiefs, and administrative officials were not in
the least reprimanded. Only the Dean of Men was ordered removed
from office, but he filed a case with the Quezon City court contesting
the intent, won it, and stayed on his job until retirement. The four
leaders of the fraternity were suspended only for one semester.
Three of the four College of Law students graduated and stopped
schooling.
When fraternities and sororities misbehaved, the U.P. administrative
officials - from the deans of discipline, dormitory matrons and heads, to
the President of the University - do know about the incidents, although
perhaps not in their entirety. However, solutions to the misbehavior
problems have not been effectively implemented. The failure of these
sets of solutions hasfurther emboldened offending groups to continue
or increase their use of violence to achieve their goals.
While there were violent forms of initiations, there were no episodes
of inter-fraternity fights during the early post-war years from 19451954. In 1954, after the death of young Albert, Father John P. Delaney,
Catholic Chaplain residing on campus, finally found his chance to
2

The writers conducted a record verification in the Office of the


University Registrar.

32
33

denounce the fraternities he had grown to dislike. To counteract


the fraternities, Delaney organized and nurtured the University of
the Philippines Student Catholic Action (UPSCA). This student
organization developed into a large religious organization in which
the faculty, administrative personnel, and common workers in U.P.,
also joined. The UPSCA as a student organization engaged directly
in student politics, and was a power force at that. Father Delaney
wanted and strongly advocated for the abolition of fraternities and
sororities. His advocacy was backed by his charisma and his very
strong community leadership. The fraternities did not take that
sitting down. The Upsilon Sigma Phi and the Sigma Rho, two of
the strongest rivals on campus, banded together. They set aside their
traditional rivalry. The alliance they formed led to accommodation
and cooperation between them. The fraternities set their sights against
UPSCA, Father Delaney, and U.P. President Vidal Tan, whom they
saw as leaning favorably towards the Catholic block. In 1955, the
student council chair was won by the Upsilon, leaving the UPSCAns
defeated. Then, in January 1955, Fr. Delaney suddenly died of a
stroke (The Manila Times 1956). The leadership of Fr. Delaney was
crucial. The fraternity-UPSCA rivalry gradually died down. In July
1956, U.P. President Vidal Tan resigned.
Without strong reason for alliance, the fraternities gradually became
rivals once again. In 1956, UPSCA won the major student council
positions. The first signs of rival fraternities engaging in gang wars on
campus emerged in the 1960s. It was bound to happen.

THE BEGINNING OF STUDENT


ORGANIZATIONS AS GANGS, 1960-1966
This is a period in U.P.'s history when fraternities began to fight
inside the campus. The university community refers to a gang fight
as a "rumble." Fraternity fights must have begun a year or two earlier,
but by 1960 a recurrent, uniform pattern of conflict was already
identifiable. Coexistent with the "rumbles" are vicious forms of hazing
and victimizing of applicants for membership into fraternities.

34

This reference period, 1960s-1966, entails segments of two U.P.


presidencies: Vicente G. Sinco (1956-1962) and Carlos P. Romulo
(1962-1966).

Methodology
As in the previous sections, 12 respondents - four women and eight
men - were chosen. All were U.P. students in undergraduate courses
in the U.P. Diliman campus. The respondents' ages at the time of the
interview ranged from 41 to 45 years, all employed professionals.
Ten were former students of the writer. The spontaneity and clarity of
recalled events are remarkable.

Results
Most of the male students who attended U.P. in 1960-61 were
cautioned by their parents to avoid fraternities, fearing hazing violence.
All twelve respondents also categorically mentioned that fraternities
were already fighting as gangs when they attended U.P. in 196061. The gang fights in the early 1960s excluded weapons, and were
confined to bare hand-to-hand group fights (mano-mano). There were
however, rules of engagement. For instance, a coed recalls that in the
early 1960s, when a coed "escorts" a male student or two, the attack is
held off or postponed.
When asked of the irritants that pushed groups to fight, replies
delved into the following:
1 All student positions of leadership which are attained via elections
or nominations, for instance, positions in the U.P. student council,
the editorship of the student paper and the student yearbook, The
Philippinesian, and the cadet commandership of the ROTC, are
much sought-after positions that generate rivalry and conflict
among student organizations.
2 Occasionally, fraternities, as well as non-fraternity male students,
fight over coeds. Dance floor incidents on campus generate quarrels.
Fraternity-held dances outside the campus are occasionally "gate
crashed" by others, triggering violence. The writer has witnessed

35

several student campus violent incidents, from the 1 950s to 1999,


motivated by rivalry over girls. These are not necessarily associated
with student organizations alone; such fights cut across student
organizational statuses. Many of these fights are unpredictable, but
when one or both of the protagonists are active fraternity men, the
incident could easily lead to a fraternity war.
3. New members of fraternities, wearing their fraternity emblem or
pins, strutting arrogantly, trying to impress the elder 'brods' of
their newfound masculinity, itch for a fight from passersby while
their companions stand by them. These neophytes purposely
block pedestrian passageways to elicit an awaited complaint from
those irritated by the behavior, thereupon starting a quarrel. These
incidents happen in the "stand by" areas that fraternities frequent
during the late morning and noonday break hours.
4. Fraternity hangouts inside academic buildings during the 11 a.m. to
1 p.m. period are centers of initial trouble. As fraternity members
increase in number, they are also increasingly emboldened to
provoke other passersby for a quarrel through jeering, making
snide remarks, and standing in the way of pedestrian traffic. All of
these were done to elicit nasty remarks from those affected.
By 1964, assorted weaponry started to be used, such as stones,
empty soft drink bottles taken from nearby canteens, and sticks picked
up from the U.P. campus grounds. The writer witnessed a "rumble" one
afternoon in 1964:
At around 3 p.m. while conducting a class on the 3rd floor of Palma
Hall, my student, a coed, seated near the doorway suddenly, stood up to
warn me "Sir, Sir, there's a commotion outside!" I stepped out of the room
into the corridor and saw what looked like an ROTC platoon in military
marching formation below, right in front of Palma Hall building. I noticed

deployed, and at a distance of 25 meters, the street below us turned into a


battleground. Each group screamed invectives at each other, hurled their
rocks and bottles, picked up some thrown rocks, and continued, until one
or two combatants were hit. Motorized traffic came to a halt and a chase
began. Later, I heard gunshots. My students who joined me in the corridor
wanted to leave. I pushed them back to the classroom to continue classes.
Two of my students, most probably fratmen, ran from me, to join the
fracas.

There are often shootings after an evening of celebration. One


such incident took place in October 1966, during the celebration of
Arbor Day. That evening, a hayride (parade) was scheduled. Without
warning, fraternity men started shooting at their rivals towards the end
part of the parade.
During the same period, a fraternity war led to a shooting incident
in the front lawn of the men's dorm, behind the College of Engineering.
A student was badly hurt in the incident but survived, and returned
to continue study. The perpetrators were not identified. By 1966,
knives, shotguns, pistols, clubs, and machetes (bolos) were among the
weapons confiscated by the police from belligerent groups on campus.
In the 1960s, the university administration initiated or brokered a,truce
between fraternities in conflict. But has this been effective in the long
run? The same conflicts recurred, sometimes against other fraternitiesbut
usually among the same traditional foes. During this period, there were
miraculously no deaths. The first death from a fraternity fight occurredin
1968, when an Upsilonian student, Roland Perez, was killed on campus,
not very far from the office of the U.P. President.
Another feature of this time was the 'importing' of toughies and
armed gangsters to increase the fraternity's fighting strength. This
trend began in 1964, but the practice survived and has recurred several
times up to this writing. This remains a criminal trend on campus.

they weren't in uniform, also each "cadet" held an object in each hand.
These were a rock or an empty pop bottle, and sticks ripped off a plant
enclosure. Across the street was a motley group of about 10 or 15 students
with the same weaponry, only fewer and less organized. The "platoon"

36

The SABACA, Circa 1965-1970


SABACA is an acronym for Samahan ng mga Bastos sa Cantina
(translation: Association of the Lewd, Rude, and Ill-mannered in

37

the Canteen). This fraternity is non-formal; membership cuts across


formal fraternity organizations. Loosely bound, the common objective
is malicious mischief. There are around five core members. The
initiation includes cigarette bums on the base of the forefinger, which
serves as their visible badge of identity. Activities involve hanging out
in front of the U.P. Coop Canteen, adjacent to the chemistry pavilion,
loud talk, shouts, raucous laughter, horseplay, profanity, harassment of
passing coeds, and taunting of some of those patronizing the canteen.
The group would also detonate loud firecrackers to disturb ongoing
classes and bring in the security police. Once the security police arrive,
all have fled the area.
The SABACA is unique because it does not have formally organized
membership. Membership is composed of students from various
belligerent fraternities, but they do not fight with each other. They
candidly state the purpose of the organization through their acronym.
They have no expressed lofty goals, just pure malicious mischief,
openly declared and practiced.

Analysis
In 45 years, university administrators to date have not yet developed
effective ways to curb recurrent hazing and gang fight deaths among
student organizations. Fraternities conceal the initiation process from
their faculty advisers. In the 1 950s, Dr. Patrocinio Valenzuela, Dean of
Men, required student applicants to go to the fraternity's faculty adviser
to state their intent and take a physical exam at the Health Service,
before and after initiations. This was the first step to curb excesses, but
it was not improved upon, nor enforced, nor continued in later years.
The investigation committee of the Gonzalo Mariano Albert Case
submitted a set of recommendations to castigate the four fraternity
leaders of the Upsilon Sigma Phi by "expulsion without readmission"
from the University. The fraternity was found to have conducted an
illicit procedure, outside the campus, without the supervision of a
faculty adviser. During the investigation, all members of the fraternity
lied under oath or committed perjury. The fraternity appealed. The
expulsion from the University was watered down to a mere suspension
38

for one semester. As a result, three of the four leaders graduated with
a bachelor of laws form the U.P. College of Law, the fourth a pre-med
student, discontinued schooling voluntarily. Fraternities became aware
of this victory - the punishment was light! The University officials, in
direct supervision and control of student activities, eventually spared
the fraternity men despite the recommended heavy penalties. All in all,
the death of the young Albert did not spell the end of deadly hazing
practices among fraternities; in fact, it was only the beginning.
In the subsequent decades, hazing deaths continued with a distinct
pattern. The fraternities hold initiations away from the inquisitive
view of the authorities of a College in the University; applicants
are beaten to a comatose state, or to death, or made to perform an
extremely dangerous task, whereupon a fatal accident happens. The
applicant is then abandoned, or taken to the nearest hospital by the
fraternity masters, then abandoned. Upon inquest, the fraternity masters
continuously lie brazenly, denying involvement in the hazing.The
more affluent fraternity alumni from the government and/or the private
sectors immediately provide financial and legal assistance to those held
responsible, ignoring the suffering of the victim's survivors.
Hazing or initiation deaths are not only associated with universities
with a free, open, and libertarian orientation, as some insist. They
also occur in. other universities and colleges outside U.P., including
the military and police academies. The earliest practice of scandalous
hazing was in a rigid, tightly supervised, ideologically monolithic
institution - the country's military academy, from the 1930s up to this
very day.3 The position of the educational institution in the LibertarianTotalitarian continuum, as some theorize, is not a variable linked to
uncontrolled severe hazing and gang-fighting deaths.

A military academy "plebe" has been in coma since August 5, 1999, as a


result of hazing. Records of the Philippine Military Academy show that
1997;
a total of 52 cadets had been dismissed on account of hazing since
from Balana, Cynthia, D., "Orly
12 in 1997, 12 in 1998, and 28 in 1999,
calls for halt in hazing" in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, February 9,
2000, page 4.
39

In the military academy, hazing is viewed as a tradition by some


of its alumni, who feel it should persist. The alumni insist on the
continuation of "constructive" hazing and the elimination of the
"destructive." The hair-splitting distinction, however, varies from one
alumnus to another. Only non-military parents of the dead cadets want
hazing eliminated.
In U.P., hazing is expected to be controlled to a tolerable level by the
faculty adviser of the student organization, a responsible adult whose
position is to mediate. Faculty advisers are expected to do a balancing
act in violent fraternities. They walk on a tight rope. Often, when a
hazing death occurs, the adviser is the last to know that an initiation
was conducted or that it was fatal. They are most often by-passed. The
rules to cover the student activities are weakened by loopholes, the
absence of a set of implementing guidelines, and, of course, a nonexistent structure of rule enforcement (Tirona 2000). Miss Alma G.
Tirona, of the Office of the Coordinator of Student Activities, revealed
that rules, such as those in fraternity recruitment of freshmen (students
with less than 30 credit hours) have no implementing guidelines or
enforcement structure. When fraternities by-pass faculty advisers
while conducting initiations, no implementing guidelines cover this
offense. The absence of effective rule enforcement in U.P. on student
activities shows the basic lapse of the administration in addressing a
very serious problem.
Deaths from fraternity violence are categorized into two general
types: (1) as a result of severe initiation of applicants for membership
and (2) deaths from gang fights. On the next page is the scoreboard for
these two types of violent deaths on campus.
From these recorded deaths, it can be seen that the incidents of
homicide involving fraternity members or suspected members at U.P.
Reconstructed from interviews from 4 respondents who were U.P.
students who later entered the Mlitary Academy; and: (a) Abaflo, Robert;
Caluza, Desiree, "Mistahs say hazing as part of PMA," in Philippine
Daily Inquirer, February 12, Monday, 2000, page 4;
(b) Alcaraz, Ramon,
A., C ommodore (retired), "The Uses and Dangers
of Hazing," in the
Philippine Graphic, April 4, 1997, pp. 46, 47.

have increased in the 1990s. Moreover, the nature of these student deaths
has included inter-fraternity conflicts, in addition to hazing tragedies. It
is these inter-fraternity conflicts, such as in the deaths of Venturina and
Calinao, which constitute the remaining subject matter of this report.
Gang fights are not strangers to totalitarian institutions. In
Philippine jails and prisons, inmates create gangs as their own
version of "fraternities." These are the dreaded OXO, Bahala Gang,
Sputniks, SigueSigue, and BCJ (Batang City Jail, or City Jail Youth).
Riots resulting in deaths and injury of inmates in the Manila, Quezon
City, and Pasay City jails are routine. In the National Penitentiary,
the same groups exist, and they kill each other. Hazing or initiations

Deaths from Fraternity Initiations and Gang Fights*


Deaths from Fraternity Initiations
NO.

YEAR

NAME OF STUDENT APPLICANT


FOR MEMBERSHIP

FRATERNITY CONDUCTING
INITIATION

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.


1954

1967

1984

1992

1995

1998

Albert, Gonzalo Mariano


Tabtab, Ferdinand
Liwag, Arbel
Hernandez, Joselito
Martin, Mark Roland
Icasiano, Alexander Migi

Upsilon Sigma Phi


Alpha Phi Omega
Beta Sigma
Scintilla Juris
Epsilon Chi
Alpha Phi Beta

Total 6

Deaths from Fraternity Gang Fights


NO.

YEAR

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

1969

1977

1994

1999

2000

NAME OF STUDENT

FRATERNITY MEMBERSHIP

Perez, Rolando
Abad, Rolando
Venturina, Dennis
Calinao, Niflo
Reyes, Den Daniel

Upsilon Sigma Phi


Alpha Phi Omega
Sigma Rho
No Frat Affiliation
Alpha Phi Omega

Total 5
*Sources of Data:
Office of U.P. Chancellor, February 20, 2000
U.P. Police, February 2000
Office of the Coordinator of Student Activities (in U.P. Diliman), February 2000
Prof. Clarita Carlos, Department of Political Science, CSSP, UP., March 1, 2000

40
41

are conducted non-violently, but solemnly. Tattooing of the neophyte


follows, then the segregation of inmates. The rest of the period inside
detention systems is marked by episodes of peace or taunts for rights.
Overcrowding, the lack of funds, and poor administrative control over
inmates are the factors associated with gang fights.
The main procedures U.P. utilized in managing or preventing
fraternity violence have so far included making appeals to student
groups to renounce violence, facilitating truces between warring
fraternities, making the protagonists pledge to refrain from further
fights, and Sponsoring activities between various student groups and
administrators, whom they believe will establish rapport and positive
interaction between belligerent groups. The past Vice-Chancellor for
Student Affairs believes that such methods drastically avert further
violence and death. Supporters of such procedures say that the death
toll of 11 students would have been much higher had it not been for
these appeals for sobriety.

Ateneode Manila University started operations in the late 1940s, no


student campus death on account of willful homicide has occurred in
the Ateneo (Miralao 2000).

The authors feel that some of the 11 student deaths might have
been avoided had U.P. administrators used other more effective rule
enforcement methods in controlling student violence. When the

According to UPD Police investigative reports from 1991-1998,


there were 171 reported incidents of inter-fraternity conflicts in the
campus. From the yearly figures presented in Table 1, it is observed

Table 1. Frequency of Violent Incidents between Fraternities Inside the


University of the Philippines Campus in Quezon City, by Calendar Year

Table 2. Number of Persons Involved, Injured, and Types of Injuries


Sustained as a Result of Violent Incidents between Fraternities,
by Calendar Year, University of the Philippines, Quezon City

YEAR

NUMBER OF VIOLENT INCIDENTS


U.F. CAMPUS QUEZON CITY

l99l Jan. to Dec. 31


1992 Jan. to Dec. 31
1993 Jan. to Dec. 31
l994 Jan. to Dec. 3l
1995 Jan. to Dec. 31
1996 Jan. to Dec. 31
l997 Jan. to Dec. 31
1998 Jan. to Dec. 31

35
1
7
21
18

Total

171

37
27
25

* Primary data compiled by the University of the Philippines Police, Quezon City Investigation Section.

PART II. SOURCES OF DATA, 1991-1998


The primary source of information for the rest of this report comes
from analyses of UPD Campus Police files from 1991-1998, which
contain information on reported inter-fraternity conflicts. Included
in these reports are data concerning the names and numbers of the
fraternities involved; the weapons used; and the times and locations of
the fracases or rumbles.
In addition to police files, data for this report come from U.P.
administration figures and from observations of fraternity gatherings
conducted by the senior author.

The Problem: The Macro View

YEAR

l99l Jan. to Dec. 31


1992 Jan. to Dec. 31
1993 Jan. to Dec. 31
1994 Jan. to Dec. 31
l995 Jan. to Dec. 31
1996 Jan. to Dec. 31
1997 Jan. to Dec. 31
1998 Jan. to Dec. 31
Total

NUMBER OF NUMBER OF
PERSONS
PERSONS
INJURED
INVOLVED

166
211
326
150
2
27
90
136
1108

13
20
32
30
0
2
16
17
130

PHYSICAL INJURIES SUSTAINED


SLIGHT SERIOUS KILLED

10
17
29
24
0
2
15
12
109

0
3
3
5

0
0
1
4
16

0
0
0
1
0
0
0
2

Table prepared by Marion Dulnuan, 07 May 1999


*Primary data compiled by the University of the Philippines Police, Quezon City Investigation Section.
- Table prepared by Marion Dulnuan, 7 May 1999

41
43

that the majority of these conflicts occurred from 1991 to 1995. After
the death of the studentVenturjna in December 1994, the incidents
of inter-fraternity violence declined significantly, with only one
such incident recorded for all of 1995. From 1996 through 1998, the
incidents of fraternity conflicts increased. One result of this increased
hostility among fraternities was the alleged murder-for-hire killing of
a supposed non-fraternity student in February 1999. Another student
was stabbed to death in February 2000.
The magnitude of these conflicts can also be measured by the
number of students involved. The data is presented in Table 2. For
the eight-year period (1991-1998), it is observed that a total of 1108
people were involved in inter-fraternity conflicts. However, the number
of young men injured in these incidents was much lowerat 130, or
approximately 12% of the total.
The data in Table 2 also indicate the relative non-seriousness of the
injuries incurred as a result of the rumbles. Most of the injuries were
classified as "slight, physical" injuries, which means that the injury
required less than 10 days of medical treatment. Not to be ignored,
however, is the fact that students have been killed and maimed in these
fights.
The kinds of weapons used in these battles area reason for the
relatively minor physical damage. As the numbers in Table 3 indicate,
the predominant weapon used, at least according to police reports and
confiscations, is a steel pipe, mistakenly identified as a lead pipe in
some of the accounts. Steel pipes are relatively light, not so light as to
be harmless, but certainly not as heavy as lead pipes. Other weapons
commonly used are fists, pillboxes, bats and clubs, bottles, and stones.
Again, while these weapons are certainly dangerous, they are not as
lethal as guns or knives.
From the text of this report, it may be inferred that the problem
of inter-fraternity violence in the UPD campus is universal to all
fraternities. This assumption is false. According to the figures displayed
in Table 4, there are only a few fraternities significantly involved in
fights or rumbles. In fact, seven fraternities figure in 74% of the total
violent and near-violent incidences from 1991-1998. Furthermore,

Table 3. U.P. Fraternity Violence: Weapons Used in the Assault


and Their Frequency (January 1991 to December 1998)
WEAPONS

FREQUENCY

Steel Pipes
Fists
Pillbox
Baseball Bats
Wooden Clubs
Glass Bottle
Stones
Molotov Bomb
Tear Gas
Stick
Paper Cutters
Knives
Guns
Ice Picks
Fan Knife
Tennis Racket
Chaco
Wooden Paddle
Softdrink Bottle
Rubber Pipe
Long Knife
Ax
Gloves
Firecrackers (100 pcs)
Pillbox Materials
Rattan Stick
Walking Stick
Wrench

192
60
51
37
22
19
19
10
10
10
9
7
4
3
3
3
2
2
1

Total

1
I
1
1
1
1
1
473

Primary data source: University of the Philippines Police Department, Quezon City Campus

44
45

Table 4. Types of Violent Incidents between Student Organizations


in the University of the Philippines, Quezon City (January 1991 to
December 1998) Types of Violent and Near Violent Incidents

Table S. Rank Frequency of Student Confrontation Between


Fraternities, by Pairs University of the Philippines, Quezon City
(January 1991 to 31 December 1998 Inclusive)

o
NAMEOF
ORGANIZATION

z
U -

Sigma Rho

41 3 17 2 2 9 7 1 0 0
Upsilon Sigma Phi 31 3 9
1 7 7 6 2 0 0
Alpha Phi Beta
29 7 9
1 3 3 4 0 0 1
Scintilla Juris
28 6 3
1
4 4 8 2 0 0
Tau Gamma Phi
23 3 7 1 4 4 3 0 0 0

Alpha Phi Omega

15 3

1 2 2 0 3 0 0

Alpha Sigma

14 3

7 0 0 1 0 0 0

Pi Sigma

10350002000

Beta Sigma

9 1 4 0 0 0 2 0 0 0

10

Tau Alpha

8 0 6

11.5

Beta Epsilon

6 0

0 0 0 0

0 0

11.5

Epsilon Chi

13.5

Lalagaw Brothers
Brotherhood of
Filipinos

15

Sigma Kappa Pi

4 1

16

Vanguard

3 0 2 0 1

17

Palaris Confraternity 2

19.5

EMC2 2

19.5

Pan Xenia

2
3
4

13.5

1 0 0 0 0

1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
0

1 0 0 0 0
0

1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1
19.5 Gamma Sigma Phi 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Unidentified

2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0

Totals

245 37 83 14 27 32 38 10 3 2
19 24 31

* 152 incidents based on 171 police investigations from January 1991 to December 1998.
*Categories are mutually exclusive

46

FREQUENCY OF
VIOLENT INCIDENTS

RANK

FAIRS OF FRATERNITIES

1
2
3
4.5
4.5
6.5
6.5
8
9.5

Sigma Rho vs. Upsilon Sigma Phi


Alpha Phi Beta vs. Sigma Rho
Tau Gamma vs. Alpha Phi Omega
Alpha Sigma vs. Pi Sigma
Alpha Phi Beta vs. Scintilla Juris
Alpha Phi Beta vs. Alpha Sigma

24
9
8
6
6

Beta Epsilon vs. Tau Alpha


Sigma Rho vs. Beta Sigma
Brotherhood of Filipinos vs. Latagaw Brothers
Sigma Rho vs. Scintilla Juris
Scintilla Juns vs. Pi Sigma
Scintilla Juris vs. Vanguard
Tau Gamma Vs. Sigma Kappa Pi
Tau Gamma vs. Epsilon Chi
Upsilon vs. Alpha Phi Omega
Alpha Phi Beta vs. Tau Gamma
Alpha Phi Omega vs. Beta Sigma

9.5

11.5
11.5
11.5
11.5
11.5
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16

Beta Epsilon vs. EMC2


Beta Sigma vs. Scintilla Juris
Epsilon Chi vs. Tau Alpha
Scintilla Juris vs. Alpha Phi Omega
Sigma Rho vs. Tau Gamma
Tau Gamma vs. Scintilla Juris
Tau Gamma vs. Tau Alpha
Upsilon vs. Vanguarad
Brotherhood of Filipinos vs. Vanguard
Alpha Phi Omega vs. Alpha Sigma
Alpha Sigma vs. Sigma Kappa Pi
Upsilon vs. Alpha Sigma
Gamma Sigma Phi vs. Scintilla Juris
Total

4
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
I
1
1
1
1
1

1
98

*Table prepared by Marion Duinuan


*Primary Data Source: University of the Philippines Police Department, Quezon City Campus

47

Table 6. Frequency of Violent Incidents between


Fraternities During the Academic Cycle

Table 7 Frequency of Fraternity Related Violence Inside the U.P. Diliman


Campus, by Area of Activity ()anuary 1991 to 31 December 1998)

REGISTRATION FIRST HALF


SECOND
PERIOD
OF THE
HALF OF THE FINAL
ACADEMIC YEAR AND
SEMESTER
SEMESTER (8 EXAMS
SEMESTER/SUMMER TOTALS (REGULAR
SEMESTER)
(l'8WEEKS) TOl7'WEEKS) WEEK
AND SUMMER AND SUMMER AND SUMMER

AY 1991-1992
1St Semester
2nd Semester
Summer 1992
AY 1992-1993
1st Semester
2nd Semester
Summer 1993
AY 1993-1994
1st Semester
2nd Semester
Summer 1994
AY 1994-1995
AY 1995-1996
1st Semester
2nd Semester
Summer 1996
AY 1996-1997
1st Semester
2nd Semester
Summer 1997
AY 1997-1998
1st Semester
2nd Semester
Summer 1998
AY 1998-1999
1st Semester
2nd Semester
Summer
(Not Finished)
Total

22
14

4
2
1

18
7
4

0
0
0

14
14
4

0
0
0

10
7
0

4
7
4

0
0
0

7
10

0
0
0
0

3
6
0
2

4
4
6
15

0
0
0
0

17
0

0
0
0

0
0
0

0
0
0

0
6
0

0
0
0

0
0
0

0
6
0

0
0
0

13
0
0

0
0
0

1
1
0

9
0
0

3
0
0

4
3

0
0

0
2

3
1

1
0

146

x 2 = 26.76, ldf, probability at .001=10.827

AREAS

PERCENTAGE

FREQUENCY

Area of Academic Vicinity


Palma Hall Vicinity
College of Engineering
Palma Hall Annex
Business Administration Building 'Vicinity

68.00%
30.00%
10.00%
5.00%
5.00%
3.31%
3.31%
2.00%
2.00%
1.32%
1.32%
1.32%
1.32%
0.66%
0.66%

102
46
15
7
7

0.66%

College of Law
Faculty Center
Math Building
Main Library
College of Home Economics
ISMED
Llamas Hall
Nat'l. Eng. Center
College of Education
College of Science
College of Social Work and Community
Development
Areas of Commercial Activity
CASAA
U.P. Cooperative Vicinity
U . P. Shopping Center
Vinzon's Hall
Bahay ng Alumni
Beach House Canteen
Health Service Parking Lot
Padi's Point Restaurant
Residence Halls
Yakal Vicinity
Ipil Vicinity
Molave Vicinity
Kalayaan Vicinity
Narra Vicinity
Others
U.PSunken Garden
SM City North Carpark*
NSRI Parking Lot
Main Library
Roxas Avenue
Total

48

5
5

3
3
2
2
2
2

9.00%

14

2.65%

2.00%
1.32%
0.66%
0.66%
0.66%
0.66%
0.66%
19.00%
6.00%
6.00%
3.31%
2.65%
1.32%
4.00%
1.32%
0.66%
0.66%
0.66%
0.66%

3
2
1

100.00%

1
29
9
9
5
4
2
6
2
1
1
151

* Occurred outside the U.P. Campus but Reported to the U.P. Diliman Police

49

Table 8. Location of Fraternity Related Violence Inside


the U.P. Ditiman Campus, by Peak Hours
AREAS

Areas of Activity
Palma Hall Vicinity
College of Engineering
Registrar's Office
Malcolm Hall of Vicinity
Business Administration
Building
National Engineering
Center
Math Building
ISMED
College of Education
College of Science
Areas of Commercial
Activity
CASAA
U.P. Coop
Shopping Center
Beach House Canteen
Vinzon's Hall
Bahayng Alumni
Residence Halls
Molave Dormitoiy
Yakal Residence Hall
Ipil Residence Hall
Kalayaan Dormitory
Narra Residence Hall

NO. OF VIOLENT INTERPERSONAL ACTS


PEAK I
PEAK II
PEAK HI
11AM-2PM
3PM-6PM
7FM-12MN
SUBTOTAL

SUBTOTAL

SUBTOTAL

52
27
4
7
3

25
10

8
2

1
2

0
0

2
1
1
0

0
1
0
0

0
0
0
0

4
i
0
1
0
0

2
0
1
0
0
0

0
1
1
0
1
1

6
1
0
2
i
0

8 -
2

1
0
0

1
2
2

7
1

6
2

Others
SUBTOTAL
9 -
U.P. Sunken Garden
0
Between Vinzon's
Hall and Business
i
Administration
Ma. Guerrero St.1
50

AREAS

NO. OF VIOLENT INTERPERSONAL ACTS


PEAK III
PEAK II
PEAK I
7PM-12MN
3PM-6PM
I1AM-2PM

Sa Gulod Beerhouse
(Cruz na Ligas)

Between Sunken
Garden and Business
Administration

1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
73

0
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
42

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1

Corner Roxas Avenue


and Roxas Street
Fernandez St. corner
Quirino Ave.
Magsaysay Ave.
Quirino Ave.
Roxas Ave.
NSRI Parking Lot
DMST Vicinity
Kalaw St. corner Quirino
Quezon Hall (Admin)
PCED Hostel
Padi's Point
Totals
X2

22

= 28.91,2 df, probability at .001=13.815

these seven fraternities feature in the more aggressive incidents of


inter-fraternity violence, such as rumbles, ganging up fights, fist fights,
and the throwing of explosives and incendiaries.
Another pattern, which is characteristic of inter-fraternity rumbles,
is that they typically occur between pairs of fraternities. These paired
confrontations are clearly demonstrated in Table 5. It is worth noting
that only a few fraternities are significantly involved in rumbles or
fights. Certainly, other fraternities appear on the list, but their presence
is an anomaly compared to the "violent few" fraternities that appear at
the top of the ranks of violent incidences in the U.P. Diliman campus
year after year.
In addition to these tabular data, there is evidence that nonfraternity students do not engage in the sort of gang-like violence
typical of fraternity conflicts. In a study of violence among fraternity
51


and non-fraternity students at UPD from 1997-1998, Principe and
Zarco (unpublished paper) found that of 38 recorded instances of
fights/near-violent incidences, only two involved non-fraternity
students. Furthermore, among non-fraternity students, the violent
episodes were spontaneous. Fraternity-related violence, on the other
hand, was characterized by reprisals against rival fraternities, and as
such, involved more rationalization and planning, and often escalated
in frequency of occurrence.
Inter-fraternity conflicts in the UPD campus are not randomly
distributed throughout the academic year. As the data in Table 6
indicate, most of the fracases occur in the second half of an academic
term, and almost never during final exams week or registration
periods. One possible explanation for this pattern is that many of
the students involved in violent attacks are failing or doing poorly in
their coursework, and are facing dismissal or disqualification from the
University. To be sanctioned by U.P. for fighting may mask the pending
academic dismissal of the student from the University.
The areas in the UPD campus where most fraternity conflicts occur
are detailed in Table 7. From these records, it is clear that academic
buildings and accessways are where most of the fights arise. From
1991-1998, 68% of the recorded rumbles took place in or near academic
areas of the campus. Thirty percent occurred in the vicinity of Palma
Hall, which provides a large area for the congregation of students and
which is near many of the "tambayans" where student groups meet and
associate.
Not only are academic areas in campus the typical locations of interfraternity violence, but these incidents usually occur during those hours
of the day when students and faculty are most likely to be present. As
shown in Table 8, there are three peak time frames of fighting in the
campus - 11 am-2pm, 3pm-6pm, and 7pm- 12 midnight. Of these three
time periods, the most prominent is the 11 am-2pm time slot. This has
been especially true at Palma Hall, in which 27, or 69%, of the incidents
occurred during such time period. This pattern could be peculiar to U.P.
Diliman because the University is a largely residential institution.

an

I
I
I
I
212122101012
i
I
I
I
I

Z;

-.

ara
0

Z0

'

9.9

9 9

9
If-;

I
Cn

kn

I
I iHII

an

H H
a)

a)
2

a)

a)

Cd

aID

-e
a)
a)
0

a)

'a.
at
Z
.4..

01
w

-e

a)
a-

riD

a-

a)

tZ

Ia)

a)a)

a.

a)

20a

Cd

a)
a)
a) 4-a
CdrID
a)
a)

at

0
at

U.
'4-

-s

a)

a)
1-1

a) a)

_a)a)

a)

a)a)

Ia)

a)

.-;;
0
a.

aaba)

i:-4
an

Ia)
C
z
C

-.__a) a)__

a)

a)
C

O a,L4

aba)

a)

a)

a)

.Ia) a)at

E.a) Ea)
Cd
.a I) Z

a)a) a)a)
o

a)

a) -a)
-a) a)
rID

0\
a'

o-

-a0
a)
0.
C)
Co

0
I-0?
r 40

lIc\l

--C
(O.
0. -

a)
-a)
an
a)

In

C >.
Ot
.V;
C

a)
-a)

rID

a)a)

0.

0
-a)
-e
0
0

0%

C 4
.D
0
4.'

a)

a):

a)

a)
I)
-a)

aI

a)
-a)

-a)

a)
bO
a)
o

OIqj

a- IN

a)
..a)
a

a)
a)
a)
E
bO E

E
-

Cd

a)
..a)

a)
'

l/D

a)

a)
rID

52

C40H

a
0
0
a
a
0
C-0
0
Z

53

Table 10. Fraternity Encounters (Rumbles and Truce Meetings)


PAIRS OF FRATERNITIES

RUMBLE

Alpha Sigma vs.


Sigma Kappa Phi

September 1997 3 October 1997

Upsilon Sigma vs. Sigma Rho September


4 19
,_,_.
, 7

Alpha Sigma vs. Pi Sigma

Tau Alpha vs. Beta Epsilon

6
7
8

TRUCE

10 October 1997

23 September 1997 24 September 1997

4 October 1997
7 October 1997
Sigma Rho vs. Alpha Phi Beta 13 October 1997 14 October 1997
Alpha Sigma vs.
26 November 1997 27 November 1997
Alpha Phi Beta
.PiSigma vs. Tau Gamma
2 February 1998 2 February 1998
Sigma Rho vs.
30 January 1998 30 January 1998
Upsilon Sigma Phi

9Beta Sigma vs. Alpha Sigma

9 February 1998 11 February 1998

10 Alpha Phi Beta

24 February 1998 25 February 1998

* Unsigned, undated document given to the senior authority by the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs, in her
office, 1998, page 2.

In 1998, the senior author of this report developed a strategy for


observing the times and locations of fraternity gatherings. The results
of these observations are presented in Table 9. Altogether, eight
fraternities were observed, and their level of violence is indicated in
the table. Level of violence was determined by the number of violence
incidences recorded at UPD from 1995-1997. For example, the most
violent fraternity, Upsilon Sigma Phi, met on Fridays, from
4-5pm,
with 30-40 participants at the meetings. The other fraternities met on
different days throughout the week, sometimes twice a week, typically
from 11:30am-lpm or4-Spm.
Usually, there were 20 or more participants at the meetings, which
indicates that these are fraternity meetings rather than unplanned
gatherings of a handful of members or of friends. One inference that
may be drawn from the data is that meetings were being conducted
around the times of the rumbles, which typically occur from 11-2 or
late in the afternoon, as demonstrated in Table 8.

Truce, Triggers, Frat Fights


During the past three decades, fraternity gang fights have been
cyclical characterized by repetitive retaliations. These cyclical
recurrences have not yet been effectively broken. In fact, the data show
that recent deaths have decreasingly shorter intervals, an indication of
a worsening situation. The last fatality, on February 10, 2000, is less
than one year from the penultimate previous death.
Why are gang fights repetitive and cyclic?
1. The truce procedure.
The truce is a quick fix. To put the fight to a quick stop, a truce is
brokered by the University officials. Leaders of warring fraternities are
made to go to the office of the Chancellor (of Diliman) or the ViceChancellor for Student Affairs, whereupon, the parties agree to a truce.
They sign a non-aggression pact, shake hands, are warned not to repeat
the same offense, and dismissed. But it should be emphasized that the
truce does not wash away, nor diminish, the mutual hatred, animosity,
suspicion, and distrust of each warring party. The truce simply places
an overlay of accommodation over these negative emotions. The idea
is that soon, cooperation and friendship will evolve. It usually does
not. The accommodation is so fragile that a minor incident can trigger
fresh conflict. The truce is short lived and temporary.
The shortest truce in the mid 1990's lasted seven (7) minutes long.
After the truce was forged, the former protagonists left Quezon Hall,
went downstairs, and as they reached the street, a gang fight broke
loose. In 1997-1998, the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr.
Barbara Wong Fernandez, recorded fraternity gang fights (rumble) and
truce meetings. The list is presented below, in Table 10.
A quick review of the data in Table 10 shows the following:
a. Belligerent fraternities do not stop fighting with other fraternities.
During the six-month period, Alpha Sigma fought with: Sigma
Kappa Phi, September 1997, with a truce on October 1997; Sigma,
23 September 1997, with a truce on 24 September 1997; Alpha Phi
Beta, 26 November 1997, with a truce on 26 November, 1997; and

54
55

Beta Sigma, 9 February 1998, with a truce on 11 February 1998.


Yes, Alpha Sigma fought with four different fraternities within a
period of six months, and each fight ended with a truce.
b. Same pairs of fighting fraternities engage in renewed violence.
Upsilon Sigma Phi fought with Sigma Rho on September 1, 4, 5,
1997, ending in a truce on 10 October 1997. This same pair fought
on 30 January l998, with a truce on 11 February 1998.TauAlpha
fought with Beta Epsilon on 4 October 1997, with a truce on 7
October 1997; the same pair were again fighting on 2 February
1998.
c. From September 1997 to February 1998, a six-month period, nine
paired fraternity fightsended in a truce, only to break into renewed
fighting.
The truce sends the wrong message to belligerent student
organizations; that is, cessation of fighting wipes away culpability. The
truce is temporary and ineffective, particularly with fraternities that
have the most number of previous fights.
2. The trigg ers .
A trigger is a figurative term for existing irritants in the social
arena (the campus) that set off fresh fighting. Food centers that serve
alcohol where student groups go to drink are minor trigger settings.
But the major flash points of fresh initial fighting are in the academic
buildings where the most violent fraternities set up their meeting
places (tambayans) during peak class hours - from late morning to
early afternoon.
There is a crowd psychology phenomenon in these tambayans. A
group of three to five fraternity men stand around before noon, and
students and faculty members pass freely without incident. As the day
wears on, more fraternity members arrive - some recent alumni, others
non-U.P. fraternitymen from other schools. The mood of the group
becomes jovial. As group size increases, members become boisterous
and aggressive, some begin to taunt and throw hostile stares at
passersby who gain eye contact with members. They begin to provoke

and humiliate "fair game" until a hostile fraternity man, or one of the
coeds belonging to a sister sorority of a rival fraternity, is offended. A
fight is then triggered.
As mentioned earlier, Palma Hall has the largest number of triggers
at present. The colleges of Engineering and Law also have their share.
Less violent student organizations congregate at the periphery of the
Main Library building. Most fraternity fights are triggered in and
around the large academic oval (see Table 7 and Table 9).
Do the deans of colleges disperse violent fraternity groups, which
include non-students,from their respective buildings? No. The triggers
remain. Deans, through office personnel, remove chairs, benches, and
tables from these trigger areas to discourage the fraternity men from
hanging around, but dispersal is a remote option. They must have their
reasons. The repetitive cyclic fraternity gang fights could be associated
with truce and trigger factors.
3. The Nature of Gang Fights or "Rumbles".
The fraternity fights that elicit the imagery of two nearly equal
groups engaged in violence are called a rumble. This was in the 1960s
and 1970s. These days, highly violent fraternities have used the ambush
tactic - a surprise attack. Usually, an unsuspecting lone victim or a
small group is attacked by a larger armed group, riding in cars, and
wearing hoods. This is called a gan g up, in U.P. Police parlance.
A freshly triggered fight develops and escalates into a series of
encounters. The first could be weaponless, with just invectives and
threats, followed by the use of makeshift weapons, steel pipes and
baseball bats, hand-thrown explosives, and incendiaries. Eventually,
they start using knives and guns. The escalation of weaponry goes with
the protracted fight series.
The "triggers" may be in the academic buildings, but the rights spill
into the streets in campus. In the evening, the attacks continue in the
men's dorms, where the fraternity boys reside.
These past years, fraternity fights have in vehicle vandalism.
Hooded men armed with pipes and bats smash up their opponent's cars
in the parking lot. In the past, vandalism took on different forms. They

56
57

smashed the glass cover of their opponent's bulletin board, sometimes


setting it on fire or ripping it from the wall to keep as war booty.
They destroyed each other's pet projects, such as a bus waiting shed,
built from rival fraternity funds, or an enemy's garden beautification
project.
During a fight series, sometimes a long interval, say from one to
three weeks, would pass without an incident. However, unknown to
the other, their enemy is preparing for a lethal ambush. Then the attack
occurs. Some of the fraternity gang fight deaths have occurred after a
long lull. The last two fraternity fight deaths took after this pattern.
There are also inter-campus fraternity fights. A UP Diliman (Quezon
City) fraternity motored all the way to the U.P. Manila Campus. Armed
with steel pipes, they attacked their rival group in their tam bayan, injuring
nearly a dozen victims. The Manila fraternity men suffered severe head
injuries and were taken to the U.P. Philippine General Hospital. (This
incident is not in the U.P. police files, the investigation was conducted
by the Manila Police Department.) Unverified sources say that the fights
that led to the death of student Dennis Venturina in Diliman began in the
U.P. Los Baflos campus, 60 kilometers south of Diliman.
Some fraternities in Diliman, in order to warn or alert their own
fraternity men of an ongoing fight, set up flags and banners at the main
entrance of the U.P. campus, using secret signs understood only by its
members.
There have already been reports of entry of armed men into the
academic buildings. These men are often armed bodyguards of wellto-do students. Other armed men are brought into the campus to attack
students during gang fights, or for retaliation. When an armed group
of outside gangsters enters the campus for a fraternity fight, innocent
students are usually assaulted. The attack in the College of Law Library
illustrates this. The Niflo Calinao assassination is also an example.
These two attacks are related.
4. Puil2osive Low Intensity Conflict
If the occurrence of fraternity fights began before 1960, there must
be a total of almost 1000 fraternity gang fights in 2000. But what

58

explains the low casualty rate of only five student deaths and one U.P.
police officer death? The same can be asked of hazing or initiations.
After 55 years of violent hazing practices in the U.P. Main campus, only
five or six students have died. The five or six deaths are the exception
rather than the rule.
As mentioned previously, death and serious injuries are kept
at a minimum because of the use of weaponry that are not as lethal
as expected. Why not submachine guns or extra capacity pistols, or
shotguns, or military assault rifles - all of which are available if the
protagonists desired to acquire or use them? Why just homemade pill
boxes and not military hand grenades? Why Molotov bombs and not
flame throwers to increase deaths and injuries? Five deaths in 41 years,
in around 1000 fraternity fights, is proof that extreme violence is not
intended to exterminate rival groups (see Tables 2 and 3).
When fraternities engage in a fight, members unite. Also, fights
project the image of a macho tough group which has become a value
in U.P. This explains why violent fraternities locate their hangouts in
places with voluminous pedestrian traffic. The tough reputation is for
everyone to see.

PART III. EXPLANATIONS


There are three questions frequently asked of us to clarify. These
are: (1) Why do students join fraternities despite the negative image
they cast? (2) Why do fraternities severely initiate their applicants for
membership?, and (3) Why do they fight?
These questions will be addressed separately in the light of existing
theory in the field of social psychology, and through empirical data
amassed for this study.

Why do students join fraternities despite


the negative image they cast?
Many of our students, perhaps most, undergo a process of deindividuation after they are admitted into the University. The University
is a large-scale organization (LSO) with a highly bureaucratic system
of rules and procedures and an impersonal character. New students

59

Types of Affiliation

Non affiliated students - Those who did not self


report membership into any student association.
2 Affiliated students - Those who self reported active
membership into one or more student associations.
3. Sub-types of affiliated students
a. Those with single membership
b. Those with multiple membership
4. Sub-types of students with multiple membership
a. With 2 organizational affiliations
b. With 3 organizational affiliations
c. With 4 organizational affiliations
d. With 6 organizational affiliations
Total

Table U. Proportion of Single Memberships* in Student


Organizational Categories (OLba and Zarco 2000)

15%

% OUT
RANK
F
ORGANIZATION CATEGORY, EXAMPLES
OF N=438
ORDER

84.11%
77.45%

6.66%

f
is

3.2%
1.82%
1.42%
0.22%

29

9.66%

8
5

3
4

6
8

are stripped of their full identity, reduced to a serial number which


becomes their name, and on which their grades are tagged every
semester. Students are not assured of any permanence. Only their grade
point average determines their status. If this is lower than required,
they get the boot to make room for those who are more deserving.
The persistent demand is achievement and academic excellence. These
conditions are anxiety generating.
Stanley Schaeter (1959) maintains that as anxiety builds up, there
develops an increased desire to affiliate or tojoin other persons or groups,
particularly those with similar states of mind and social situations.
What are these anxiety-causing conditions in the university? (1) The
de-individuation of the new corner; (2) the impersonal, unfeeling, and
objective nature of the system, which is characteristic of all LSOs; (3)
the persistent demand for high achievement levels, which determines
one's status; (4) the unstable nature of one's membership; and (5) a
feeling of isolation and loneliness despite the presence of numerous
persons nearby, each concerned with his/her own business. With all
these, the social need for students to establish groups is clear. They
seek groups that would make whole the fragmented role of the student,
that would recognize each person's uniqueness, offer permanent
60

8
8
10

Academic, e.g., Politica, Psych Society,


Economics Society
Fraternities, e.g., Alpha Phi Beta, Sigma Rho,
Alpha Sigma
Socio civic orgs., e.g., Red Cross Youth,
Pahinungod
Regional or ethnic orgs., e.g., Bannuar,
Kalilayan, Katilihgban
Religious orgs., e.g., UP Student Catholic Action,
Youth for Christ
Special interest orgs., e.g., Paranormal Society,
Astronomical Society
Sororities, e.g., Phi Delta Alpha, Delta Lambda

91

20.7

54

12.3

33

7.5

32

7.3

29

6.6

23

5.25

21

4.8

21
Outdoors Club, Judo Club
Nationalist (Marxist or Leftist), e.g., League of
21
Filipino Students, Gabriela Youth, Sanlakas
Cultural orgs., e.g., UP Quill, Katha Lad, Theater 18
Council

4.8

Sports, e.g., Softball Club, Mountaineers,

Total

343

4.8
4.1
77.45%

Note: Students with multiple affiliations are excluded.

membership, and help students adjust to the demands of the LSO. Such
groups become collegial, with strong camaraderie and mutual concern
for one another's welfare.
Throughout the years, students have created and organized such
groups. Today, the UP Diliman campus has 234 recognized campus
organizations - all voluntary student organizations with varying
categories.' Given this number and variety, students can choose
which suits them best. Of the 234, only 17 are fraternities. Our study

This was sourced from an unsigned, undated document, on student


campus organizations given to the writer by the U.P. Diliman
Chancellor, February 20, 2000, in the Faculty Center Conference Hall.
61

reveals that organizations with the most number of members are not
fraternities.
The current 234 student organizations prove the validity of
Schaefer's affiliation theory. These organizations perform a mediating
function between the LSO and the individual, which means that these
groups help the individual adjust to the LSO by providing the basic
social needs of the individual and by making the individual feel a sense
of belonging to a warm human group.
A separate study conducted by the senior author and his student
provides data on the nature of student affiliations. A survey on student
membership in voluntary associations in U.P. Diliman from FebruaryMarch 1999 was conducted with a probability sample size of N=438
out of a student population of 22,000 undergraduates; the sample error
is at 95%, and the level of confidence is 4% (Olba and Zarco 2000).
The results of this study are presented in the following list and table.
The above empirical data on affiliation reflect the variety of student
organizations that provide newcomers with a wide range of choices
to meet specific social needs. Despite parental warnings, students
confronted by a specific situation decide on their own whether or not to
join groups based on their personal circumstances.

Why do some fraternities severely


initiate applicants for membership?
Initiation is a screening process fraternities employ to select new
members. The physical torture and the life threatening tasks that
members are asked to perform are part of the process to ascertain how
much an applicant is willing to sacrifice to be a member. Initiation is
the rite de passage.
The effect of severe initiation upon the surviving members,
experimentally demonstrated by Festinger (1957) and later by
Aronson and Mills (1959) and Forsyth (1999), is greater liking for
the group. The holistic impact on the fraternity is stronger group
loyalty and cohesion. Intuitively, the writers believe that group liking
is transient - it could erode unless sustained or reinforced by other
activities or conditions.

In 1998, at the onset of this inquiry, we had intended to meet and


interview around 10 fraternity men who landed in jail for homicide and
murder. We wanted to find out if group liking remains after two to three
years of detention in a Quezon City jail, under execrable conditions.
The study was not carried out because of recurrent jail riots and the
sudden release on bail of nine of the detainees.
Some fraternities maintain group cohesion by conducting highly
visible groups tasks, which earn instant admiration, praise, and
favorable publicity from the country. These include drama and musical
presentations that often overshadow existing professional talent;
medical missions for indigents; the re-painting and re-furnishing of
classrooms; and the construction of bus stop sheds and walkways.
Some fraternities, together with their sister sororities, hold lavish and
expensive balls and parties, which earn mild censure from conservatives.
Some engage other groups in violent confrontations.

Why do fraternities fight?


Campus dominance is a major latent goal of a number of
fraternities. Being able to control and occupy all high status student
positions means having power, influence, and elite status. The rules of
competition initially involved conventional non-violent means, until
some fraternities resorted to "kidnappings," holding hostage rivals to
prevent them from filing candidacies and winning contests. Admittedly,
the "kidnappings" were humane, gentle, and even a lot of fun for the
victims, but it was improper, although no inquiry has been conducted
and no one got punished. Before the 1960s, several episodes of slightly
violent incidents took place. These went unchecked, until violence
escalated into shootings and gang murders, as they are today. How can
inter-fraternity fights happen in the nation's premier university, where
violence is repudiated by allbut the combatants? Fraternity men insist
that given that politics outside the ivory tower is violent, the University
should not be an exception.
Settling personal or group disputes through violence is no stranger
to a large number of indigenous groups in the Philippines, from those
in the highlands of northern Luzon to the Muslims in Mindanao. A

62
63

recently researched topic in Mindanao is the Maratabat issue among


the Maranaws, Muslim inhabitants around Lake Lanao.
A maratabatis a favorable reputation bestowed by the neighborhood
or communityon a person or family who has demonstrated a successful
violent attack against a person(s) who has sullied the said family's
reputation (Disoma and Zarco 1982). Conversely, anyone who does
not visibly retaliate against a wrongdoing loses his honor and has
nomaratabat;he is considered a despicable spineless coward. Such
persons are publicly humiliated by kin and neighbors, ostracized, and
prodded to fight back or forced to leave the community. To redeem
one's lost honor or status, a visible violent attack that will kill one's
tormentors must be undertaken (Saber et.al 1960).
The problem with this practice is the unceasing series of ambushes
and killings - reprisals - if people become maratabat concerned. This is
the situation that describes the series of fights among some fraternities
on campus today. While the academic community repudiates violence
as a means for settling disputes - and some fraternities manifestly
support this viewpoint - their actuations show the opposite. There is no
doubt that fraternity gang fights lead to social solidarity, a requirement
for dominance. It is probable that the practice of maratabat in Muslim
Maranaw, in its extreme violent form, continues to be practiced by
adherents who are scattered across many regions in the country,
including in fraternities in the University of the Philippines today.

CONCLUSIONS
Several characteristics of inter-fraternity violence at UPD can be
gleaned from this report: (1) only a small number of fraternities are
usually involved in r the fights; (2) the fracases demonstrate some
degree of planning and reprisal for previous incidents involving "rival"
fraternities; (3) the incidents usually occur in broad daylight and at
points of heavy traffic in the campus; (4) incidences of fighting show
cyclical patterns -there is an increase up to the point of death, a period of
significant decline in the next few years, and another gradual increase;
(5) the degree of injury resulting from these fracases is often light or
moderate, requiring minor medical attention, although as previously
64

mentioned, deaths and maiming can happen after the occurrence of


a series of unresolved conflicts; and (6) non-fraternity violence in
the campus is extremely rare and almost always spontaneous, unlike
fraternity-related violence.
These results show that inter-fraternity violence in the UPD campus
CAN BE CONTROLLED, but not without the consistent and concerted
effortsof faculty members, students, and the administration.
That these violent episodes occur in response to specific targeted
groups in reprisal for a real or imagined slight, insult, or injury, and that
these episodes display cyclical patterns of increase and decrease, show
that fraternity members are not acting blindly and with uncontrollable
rage.
Furthermore, the timing and locations of the incidents, together
with the typical use of non-lethal weapons, suggest that fraternity
members do not view their rivals as "moral enemies," but rather, as
rivals who need to be put down or put in their places. The attacks seem
to be planned for a specific time and place designed to allow maximum
humiliation for the "defeated," or more importantly, perhaps to ensure
adequate assistance for the wounded and/or to have police intervention
before things do escalate to truly lethal proportions. Certainly, there is
some degree of spontaneity in these assaults, but the timing and location
of their occurrence point largely to a degree of planning, rather than to
happenchance or opportunity.
While these patterns of violent assaults clearly suggest specific
strategies that can be employed to prevent, or at least reduce, interfraternity conflicts in the UPD campus, there should be consideration
given to long-term prevention measures. The theoretical foundation
upon which such preventive efforts could be based is the concept of
need affiliation, as developed by Stanley Schacter and subsequently
elaborated on in the field of social psychology. This concept argues,
and we concur, that smaller organizations such as fraternities serve to
reduce stress and anxiety in large-scale organizations such as a major
university, as exemplified by UPD. Furthermore, research suggests that
harsh initiations produce intense loyalty to such organizations.

65

There is thus a combination of anxiety at the University level,


and anxiety-reducing smaller organizations such as fraternitiesthat
haveharsh initiations, persistent rivalries, and fights among several of
these groups, fights that become more persistent and violent with passing
decades. While the cycle of violence appears to be intensifying and
escalating, it is our opinion that this cycle can be disrupted, stagnated,
or even reversed, with thoughtful preventive efforts and long term
planning that specifically address the potential, all too often realized,
of small groups such as fraternities, to produce intense loyalties among
its members to the point of willingly participating in dangerous and
sometimes lethal conflicts with other fraternities.

SOME METHODOLOGICAL AND


THEORETICAL NOTES
The procedure for tapping former students of the university as
respondents is not without problems involving validity and reliability.
With ages ranging from 77 to 82, recall is noted to be slow and uncertain
as specific episodes took place 55-60 years ago. The interviews are
repetitive since several cannot stay on the topic and digressed into
other recollections. Three to four respondents died in the process.
Three male respondents revised their original recollections. Recalling
student misbehavior in the 1938 to 1941 period need more than oral
history. Documents were examined as an extra method to cross validate
oral and anecdotal events. Also, archived material and newspaper
microfilm were consulted to revisit the past. As the respondents became
younger, recall was noted to be more spontaneous and enthusiasm was
remarkable. Exact dates were often off by one to two years.
Police investigation reports of the U.P. Security Police Department
in U.P. Diliman are the most comprehensive sources 'of data on
reported student violence on campus. However, there are other cases
of violence which are not in the record depository, especially when the
investigation is conducted by the Philippine National Police or when
the event took place outside of the geographic area of responsibility
of the U.P. police. Some researchers who believe that the Student
Disciplinary Tribunal is a rich source of data may realize that not all

66

police investigation cases are elevated to this trial court. However, it


would be interesting to discover the penalties imposed on students
accused in this internal trial court of the University of the Philippines
in Diliman, Quezon City.
In an inquiry, the other side of fraternity violence is the severehazing
practice, which applicants for fraternity membership undergo. There
are more fraternity, hazing incidents than fights, but our quantitative
data reflect only gang fights. Why?
Fraternity hazing is conducted with great secrecy almost all the
time, outside the U.P. campus. The only information we have is the
reported hazing deaths, which have reached six (6) cases from 1945 to
the present. There are a couple of non-fatal incidents reported by those
applicants who have decided to quit during the initiations and seek
medical help from the U.P Health Service.
The smoke screen on fraternity hazing is as thick as the blatancy of
fraternity gang fights. These fights are for everyone to see, for both the
police and the community. This shows fraternity violence to have two
faces, the covert and the overt.
The 1968-1972 years were periods of student activism,in which
students began to actively form leftist organizations to go against the
"establishment" outside the campus, such as the dictatorship, police,
military - the reactionary forces. The death of Roland Perez occurred
in 1968-1969, at the onset of student activism. It was the last for that
period. The next deaths from hazing and gang fights came later. The
1968-1972 years also coincided with the worst drug problem in the
Philippines, which affected the youth in large cities, particularly MetrO
Manila. The heroin problem began in the early 1960s and worsened
to involve teenagers in and out of school. In 1972, the average age
of users was 18. This heroin problem became an epidemic by 1970
but was abruptly curtailed in 1972. The heroin problem and student
activism, both externally perceived issues, have severely dampened
student organizational conflicts and violence on campus:

67

References

Olba, Jennifer A., and Ricardo M. Zarco. 2000. "Student Organization Affiliation
and Substance Abuse in the U.P. Diliman Campus, February - March
1999"A study in progress. University of the Philippines - Diliman.
Alcaraz, Ramon A.1954. "The Albert Case, The Fraternities and Sororities, and
Their Control and Supervision by the Authorities of the University of the

Book
Festinger, Leon. 1 999.Group Dynamics, Third Edition. New York: Wadsworth.

Schacter, Stanley. 1959.The Psychology ofAffiliation. Stanford California:

Philippines." Government Report.University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Stanford University Press.

Francisco, Vicente K. 1965. Was Ferdinand Marcos Responsible for the Death
Nalundasan? Manila: East Publishing Company.

of

Book Chapters
Lazaro, Guillermo R. 1985. "Gonzalez as an Adamant Visionary." P. 268 in The

U P., First 75 Years, edited by Oscar M. Alfonso. Quezon City: U.P.


Press.
Salamanca, Bonifacio S. 1985."Bocobo Fosters a Vibrant Nationalism (19341939)" P. 232 in The UP., First 75 Years,edited by Oscar M. Alfonso.

Newspaper Articles
Alacaraz, Ramon A. 1997. "The Uses and Dangers of Hazing." Philippine

Graphic, April 14, p. 46-47.


Author Unknown. 1956. "Father Delaney Dies; Burial Saturday." The Manila
Times, January 13.
Author Unknown. 1941. "Title Unknown." The Philippine Herald, January 18,
23, 27.
Salamanca, Bonifacio S. 1939. "Title Unknown."The Philippine Herald, July 29.

Quezon City: U.P. Press.


Alcaraz, Ramon A. 1985. "Chapter VI-Annex A, Enrollment from 1939 to

1951." P. 653in
The U P, First 75 Years, edited by Oscar M. Alfonso. Quezon City: U.P. Press.
Journal Articles

Interviews
Tirona, Alma G. 2000. Interview by the principal author, U. P. Diliman, Quezon
City, February 14.
Miralao, Lee. 2000. Interview by the principal author, Ateneo de Manila
University, Quezon City, February.

Aronson, Elliott and Judson Mills. 1959. "The Effect of Severity of Initiation on

Liking for a Group." Journal ofAbnormal and Social Psychology 59:


177-181.
Saber, Mamitua, Mauyag M. Tamano, and Charles K. Warriner. 1960. "The

Maratabat of Maranaw." The Philippine Sociological Review, January April: 10-15.


Zarco, Ricardo M. and Donald J. Shoemaker.] 995. "Student Organizations as
Conflict Gangs, University of the Philippines, Diliman." Philippine

Sociological Review 43:69-84.


Unpublished Materials
Disoma, Esmail R., and Ricardo M. Zarco.1982."The Concept of Maratabat in
Maranao Society: A Sociological Re-Interpretation."Masters Thesis,
Department of Sociology, University of the Philippines, Diliman.

68

69