Cris Anthony Mendez, a vibrant senior student of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance, sought the acceptance of a brotherhood of his peers, found his death. He was 20 years old. He is from Tiaong, Quezon.
For all of us, death is a certainty, but to die young at the age of 20 makes death more painful. He was only a few months from graduation and, I am sure, his parents and his whole family pinned their hopes on this young man and they can already see the end of their sacrifices just beyond the horizon. One cannot imagine the pain and sorrow that his death has brought to those who love him. Words are often not enough to describe what they are experiencing right now.
Murderous Brotherhood, Lethal Rites
Death is as natural as life, but to die a pointless and meaningless death at the prime of your life is something else. Cris Mendez is not the first casualty of fraternity initiation-related violence. In fact before him is a long list of fallen plebes in the University of the Philippines alone.
He is only one of the latest of young men who braved to join a brotherhood of their peers – a fraternity. Maybe Cris knew what to expect, physical and mental torture. Maybe, he thought he was tough enough to survive the initiation rites. Others before him survived, there is no reason why he will not. Maybe Cris was confident of his own threshold to physical and mental pain.
Cris was flatly wrong. He underestimated the cruelty of the peers that he considered BROTHERS. I cannot quite imagine how men like me can be cruel enough to beat the life out of a submissive young man whose only hope is to be accepted in that “brotherhood.” Did they think that surviving the torture was a measure of MANHOOD? Or a measure of loyalty and dedication perhaps?
Or did they think that the courage to INFLICT pain on someone to the point of death is a measure of their own manhood, courage and strength. If this is so, then brothers in SIGMA RHO, whoever you are, you are MEN of the HIGHEST DEGREE, you had the heart to torture a young man to death.
But guys, if you are so brave enough, WHY ARE YOU HIDING? Why can’t you face the responsibility of the death of Cris Anthony Mendez? Oh maybe you are COWARDS OF THE HIGHEST DEGREE.
May CRIS rest in peace, may his loved ones find peace and consolation. And finally, may the MEN of SIGMA RHO find the BRAVERY to face their responsibility. Guys who ran and hide from the responsibility of their actions remind me of EGGS… yeah eggs… hard and tough outside…. Yellow at the core.
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