Monday, November 26, 2012

Violence at Whistlestop Jupiter

Below is an open letter for all fraternity members and military personnel:


November 26, 2012

Dear Frat Men,

You don’t know me and I wonder if you would even really care what I have to say given I am not a frat man nor do I have any links to anyone within your organization. My only relation to you is that last Saturday around ten of you decided to pounce on someone from your rival fraternity in my restaurant at around three am.

To be honest, my first reaction was to file a case against you given that you may have noticed the many CCTV cameras that are at every corner of our dining area. I also thought about going to your school and trying to have you all expelled for conduct unbecoming of your University’s esteemed reputation. I was also considering giving the CCTV footage to ABS-CBN to air on the news, where they show similar footage daily. I was appalled by what happened because you left the store in shambles - broken bottles, smashed plates, glass everywhere, in fact you even managed to somehow break a wood post at the center of the store. On top of that, all the people working there and eating there peacefully were traumatized by watching you maul this single defenseless opponent.

The reason I decided against the above courses of action was because of the following reasons: Somehow, news of my last Facebook post regarding this got to some of you and you offered through a very good friend of mine to pay for the damages; to my dismay we share an alma mater; and after all the sensational news from people dying in fraternity wars and initiations over the years, nothing seems to have changed, so those directions will most probably not work anyway.

Given I have never joined a frat, nor will I ever, there are some things about this culture that I cannot seem to accept or understand. Among these are:

-As a man I get the need to sometimes prove your manhood. Ancient cultures would have their teenage men fight wild animals or live alone in the forest or desert and only upon the successful completion of this would they be considered men. What I don’t agree with though is that part of frat war methodology where a whole bunch of guys beat up one other person who is literally defenseless against the barrage. I find this to be completely dishonorable. I mean, how can you live with yourselves knowing you beat up someone who couldn’t fight back, with your brods waiting in the wings? How can you look at yourself alone in the mirror after doing this and proudly say, “I am a frat man - a real man.” I was always taught that a man may defend his honor against another man anytime so long as this is one-on-one and weapons of any kind are not allowed. I’m sorry to have to say that in my honest opinion anything less than that is really characteristic of cowardice.

-Also what are the reasons that frats fight? To an outsider, a “barbarian” like me, this seems just like nothing more than a juvenile pissing contest to see who is tougher. Meanwhile, human lives are in the middle as collateral damage. I have heard that the two biggest reasons frats fight are over a girl or when one feels offended via the dreaded “masamang tingin”. I mean really, is your honor really being desecrated when someone looks at you badly. In fact, maybe you just imagined it. If I had a brother, a real brother I mean, I would surely fight for him anytime he needed me IF and only IF I believed he was doing the right thing. If he asked me to fight for some petty reason, I would gladly stand back and have my blood brother have his ass kicked. I would never fight for a friend or a brother if I thought his reasons for doing so were not sound. Thus, what are the reasons you fight? Is there any weight to the cause you are fighting for or is it really just out of misplaced pride?

-If you do choose to fight you should make sure that other people, especially innocent bystanders and legitimate business owners are not caught in the crossfire. You beat this guy up in my restaurant at 3am on a Saturday night. Our restaurant was packed. Obviously, self-control was not being used, nor common decency or a respect for the rights of others.

-My fraternity member friends have always argued that the hazing process teaches self-discipline, the love for the group, a shared experience despite the differences in background, a respect for tradition, and a true understanding of what the fraternity stands for. While I cannot argue that this process instills some positive virtues it is also clear to me that this right of passage also instills many negative ones. The initiation teaches that you should treat your members like brothers but everyone else outside your group can fend for themselves; breaking the law by doing something illegal (like paddling a neophyte) is okay so long as there is some greater purpose being served; and when we do something wrong (like oops…killing someone) we are supposed to cover things up. This logic would make Machiavelli very proud. When one begins down the road of compromise and justification the deception (be it the deception of others or self-deception) never stops. If you are being taught to be a law breaker at the onset, do you honestly think that later down the line, when you are already a professional, a politician, a military officer, a lawyer, or a doctor, you will at any crossroad start doing the right thing? Or will you find a good enough reason instead, some higher justification, to tell yourself that what you are doing isn’t so bad after all? Can we be dishonest and make many personal compromises during initiations, and after it become suddenly honest and upright? Or is the slippery slope to hell actually embarked upon as soon as the paddle first hits our legs? This isn’t just in our regular universities either as PMA, our oldest fraternity, has had hazing deaths regularly since even before World War II. And we wonder why nothing in our country seems to change?

Bottomline, I would truly appreciate it if you would put some thought into what I am saying. Hopefully more young people, especially future lawyers like yourselves, would find more productive ways to spend your time.

Every weekend I spend half a day inside the National Bilibid Prison where many frat members are incarcerated for life for crimes that they committed during these so called rumbles. Having been behind bars for decades now I would guess they have most probably forgotten the cause of the initial fight that landed them behind bars. I am sure that whatever it was it had a lot to do with someone’s pride and the defense of that. Somehow, spending a life in prison to defend the pride of a brother doesn’t seem like a fair trade off to me.

If it wouldn’t be too much to ask I would also like to respectfully request that you and your group no longer frequent my restaurants. I am working as hard as I can to support myself and my family by running these establishments. I would prefer it if you find some other place to hang out as I’m sure you would understand.

Lastly, I really pray that the spirit of peace enters your lives now and always. Honestly, this is my deepest desire. I am sure you believe in some kind of faith and regardless of your specific belief system these teachings surely promotes love for your neighbors, even if they happen to be from a rival frat. Also, you are children, grandchildren and maybe even parents, or at the very least future parents, so if you can act respectfully and lovingly to those within your family and frat, shouldn’t this mentality be evident in every other part of your life.

I really hope and pray that you don’t throw your lives away because maybe sooner than you think you will be part of my Saturday sessions, experiencing the view from inside prison walls. Trust me, whatever you are fighting about, this fate isn’t worth it no matter what.

Allow me to share an old Cherokee quote I found on Facebook:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between the two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Peace,
Lex Ledesma

64 comments:

  1. Frat men thrive in a world na may pakiusap, especially those in law schools. The very reason they joined frats is to be able to have these connections. By not filing charges against them, you promote this world, and encourage their sense of invincibility.

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  2. Your argument simply does not fool anyone. It is quite obvious that the settlement for damages (or the intent to do so) had a lot to do with your decision NOT to pursue filing charges. If principle were truly involved, the outcome of your actions would have been irrelevant. This is the hypocrisy in its finest. You accuse those frat men of deception but it is you who is guilty of deception (be it deception of others or self-deception). Sorry bro, just calling a spade a spade. Better luck next time.

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    1. I agree with you. I think Lex should release the video. But i think lex doesnt want to release it because of fear of retribution. These fraternity has already shown propensity to commit murder and other heinous crimes. But being afraid is not something that is easy to admit as a man, so it is better to disguise it with another reason, even if the reasoning is fallible and illogical.

      But then again, i dont blame you, Lex if you are afraid for your family and your business. it takes a lot of courage to do otherwise. I just hope that you (lex) find the courage to do so.

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    2. If i may quote a famous saying....

      "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

      Lex, if you are not afraid to do so then post it. posting a video would help greatly. i think you have to consider how video has affected certain individuals such as Carabuena, because of the video, justice was served to the MMDA official that was bullied. There are countless instances where posting a video online can affect change.

      it is not up to you to decide if it will make a difference or not, let the public decide. your job is just to show the atrocity and let the netizens decide. Have a bit of faith. it is now all up to you to make a difference. you sound like a cynical, negative, helpless person that doesnt have faith in people and this world. Have a little faith and let the world decide. But at least do your part.

      think about it this way, if you do not post it, then definitely NOTHING WILL HAPPEN (0% probability), but if you post it, there is the possibility, even if its slight that something may happen (1% or more probability). for that slight possibility, isnt it worth it? I hope you reconsider. you are a witness to a crime, and you have evidence, and yet you choose to not release the evidence against the perpetrators?

      Here's a good read to hopefully let you change your mind.

      http://www.padfield.com/1997/goodmen.html

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    3. With all due respect to your opinion sir, I believe that you shouldn't think that your efforts in revealing what transpired in your establishment would be futile in creating a counter-culture to violence. Just because in the past, people got punished and eventually the same crimes and violence re-appeared does not mean that you can't change this culture of violence. I believe that perspective is full of negativity, because if you observe carefully every time a crime is done and the perpetrators are apprehended and aptly punished, even for a brief moment, other people would think twice about doing the said crimes. Just because this evil of violence is always around the corner does not excuse you from doing your civic duty, not just to promote justice but also to help in contributing to the creation of a counter-culture to violence. Your action may or may not be the main catalyst for this change to happen, and obviously the past actions of people who decided to stand-up didn't make this counter-culture a reality yet. But believe me, for every person who decides to stand-up for what is right, there are others who will see, hear, reflect, and maybe even follow. Take the risk of doing what is right. I am not here to impose to you to take court action but I'm just here to try and encourage you to open your mind to the possibility of helping in making a change. Don't think that your actions will be futile, just because you're not sure if you'll still be there when changes start to happen. Good luck, and as a practical advice, maybe you can hire more security for your establishment and probably look at the CCTV video so you can ban or at least keep a close eye at the fratmen who victimized the lone fratman. I'm sure they eat at Whistlestop too. Actually, I know that as a fact, I personally know some of the fratmen involved in that incident. They're from the same alma mater as well. Do the right thing Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam and his people. :)

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  3. Good decision lex! Follow your heart. - junjie

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  4. You're nothing but a coward... too scared to anger these big scary frat men. Instead you post this garbage, running away with your tail between your legs. You promote this culture of violence in frats by not doing anything to defend yourself, your clients or your place of business.

    I am a frat man myself and proudly say that I was never once hazed with physical violence, and all of the activities under our banner were done for positive causes like charity and giving back to our alma matter.

    People like you who enable these violent frat men to get away with breaking the law are pathetic and give the whole fraternity system in the Philippines a bad name.

    You say that taking action would not be the best use of your time? You're nothing but a coward...

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    1. If you are a frat man that was not hazed with physical violence then I laud you, but from what I know you are in the minority since all the frats I am aware of use physical hazing - same as all the military schools. If you feel I am a coward then I respect your opinion. Peace.

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  5. Theres no video. It was a bluff and they called it.

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    1. If that is what you truly believe then I respect your opinion.

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    2. I BELIEVE THERE IS A VID FOOTAGE. let's just give the gentleman time to think twice about it. dont be impatient guys. hey lex u know what i whenever i see situations and hear stories i always,really always , put my own two feet into those people's tsinelas (i dont wanna use shoes) and try to imagine if those things happen to me, like your situation.. so everything na maging decision mo sa future suportahan kita. - _pinoyABROAD_NYORK

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    3. I actually have turned over the CCTV footage to the University upon their request and have given them the authority to furnish the parties involved with the footage if they deem fit. This way we are hoping that justice can be served and the course of law be used by those who choose to take that path. Obviously, by writing this blog I am taking a different direction.

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  6. Good day to you sir. First off,I myself am a fratman however my decision to join a fraternity was premised on enabling me to be better equipped as a person and along the way, help those who are wronged and give justice to those who are at a disadvantage.

    To address your concern about the futility of aiding the authorities in the prosecution of frat related violence, I would like to direct your attention to the case of a fraternity recently involved in a hazing fatality. As an administrative action, the law school where these hooligans were enrolled decided that enough was enough and kicked out the ENTIRE fraternity from its illustrious halls. Moreover, these fratmen still face criminal action. All of these actions against fratmen would not have borne the sweet fruit of justice had it not been for the cooperation of concerned citizens with the authorities. Judging by your open letter, I see that you yourself are concerned. Ghandi said that we should be the change we want to see in the world. Change is not achieved from passivity. An act, no matter how unpopular, difficult or minor in scale will create a difference. I also chose to be at odds at times with my brods if I knew that my decision was moral, just and legal.

    Sir, hasn't the mantra 'man for others' been echoed over and over by the Jesuits in shaping an Atenean such as yourself? I went through law school learning of the harsh reality that justice can be denied to a person simply because another refuses to voluntarily divulge what he knows about a crime by reason of personal insecurity or fear. Too many a time has justice eluded the wronged. It will be a terribly mournful day if those arrogant fratBOYS shall be left to satisfy their perverted whims and caprices unchecked.

    You should not idly allow them to take their oath as lawyers, personally knowing for a fact that they are just a pack of immature fools, when you have the means to prevent the pollution of the roll of attorneys. Each of us has a duty to our give justice to our fellow man.

    I do hope that your soul searching will lead you to make a decision which will create waves, nay, a tsunami of positive change.

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  7. so sad to hear this. my wife and i often hang out at whistlestop jupiter because we love the food and support the revival of the place.

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    1. Maraming salamat po! Your patronage is much appreciated!

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  8. How ironic that non-frat members are called 'barbarians'.

    I hope that your sense of justice will lead you to helping the victim by providing footage that could lead to the arrest of the real barbarians. At any rate, any investigation would warrant a viewing of this footage apart from statements from you and your staff.

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    1. I am proud that I am a barbarian. But yes I find that term ironic too.

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  9. You can bring yor concern to the school administration and I think they do take these incidents very seriously.

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  10. If that is what you truly believe then I respect your opinion.

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  11. A bunch of nerds and weaklings individually, but grouped along with other fratmen, they instantly get this false bravado. Being brave men is their biggest frustration in life, thus the need for them to engage in these frat sanctioned violence. Losers if you ask me.

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    1. Why that may be true or not true calling them names isn't going to help. That is why I put up this blog to encourage these guys to find the best parts of themselves and let that part of their personas shine through. These guys, and frat and military men in general, are not animals. They, in fact, are the leaders of our society and the pillars of our nation. Thus, I am trying to appeal to them to please listen, instead of just labeling them as the bad guys, wherein it just moves into an us versus them game.

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    2. Wow, calling fratmen a bunch of nerds and weaklings... I doubt if you could go to their faces and call them that.

      Violence has no distinction. Whether it is a frat related violence or an out-of-the-blue kind of violence, it is still violence. So don't distinguish between the two.

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  12. That's just like saying you won't report a classmate whom you know cheated just cause you know that he has deeper personal problems that may have led to him cheating.

    The fact that you have to explain lengthily your reasons for not voluntarily releasing the video already shows how forced your reasoning is, how desperate you are trying to make your decision logical. Style yan ng lahat ng nag-ooral exams sa Ateneo.

    You are part of the problem, my friend and you have damaged honor as well.

    This means that if I go to your restaurant and something bad happens to me, even if you have CCTV cameras you won't help me unless I go through lengthy bureaucracy, huh? Aww, I feel so safe. Thanks, bud.

    Just give the footage and get it over with. It's the right thing to do no matter what it results to.

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    1. Actually, and I am not trying to be offensive here, yes if I had a classmate who was cheating instead of reporting him I would get him to understand why he cheated and help him to not do it again. But that is just me. Of course you are entitled to your opinion which is obviously different from mine.

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  13. Mr. Ledesma, I applaud you for writing this open letter. And I also admire the way you graciously handled the comments here criticizing your actions. While I have not seen your video and cannot judge if indeed it should be shown, I understand your decision on withholding it to the general public for now. In some cases, uploading videos for all netizens' awareness does good (e.g. the Carabuena video exposed law breaking), but in others, it can do more harm than good (e.g. in the Amalayer video, the other side wasn't shown, and some netizens who may have also lost their temper in a bad way at least once in their lives - just derived a vicious pleasure attacking the Amalayer girl). Should you decide to release the video at a time and through channels you deem right, then I wish you luck.

    My heart also goes out to people suffering as a result of fraternity violence. When I was in college, I wrote news about frat-related violences for the Collegian. I felt helpless watching parents grieve over their sons' seemingly thoughtless deaths, and I listened in silence to the heartbreaking stories of fratmen whose youth was wasting away for several years while they waited for the judge's final decision. And then there are a few like Raymund Narag, who makes me want to believe that there is still hope for fraternities out there.

    Every time I read and hear of a new frat-related death or similar violence, I remember the haunted eyes both of grieving parents and of the tried and convicted fratmen. Clearly, there are no winners here.

    And like you, I hope more fratmen - like Raymund Narag - will realize that.

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    1. Dear Lex, I agree with Claire, as I wish to say the same to you. I respect your choice most especially because you decided to write something more powerful than a video (which would have been easily gobbled up and proliferated on social-media sites).

      Today, we live in a world where it's an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. It would have been so easy for you to trade your restaurant's destruction for their own personal destruction. But you did not.

      I don't believe you are a coward, because you named the perpetrators, and even revealed yourself, not just once in your letter, but again and again as you respond to the comments left here. I hope you do not waver in your conviction, as this society badly needs it.

      Additionally, I believe this issue is beyond fraternities and brotherhoods. This fight is a symptom, not a cause, of the problems in our country. This is about a culture nursed in violence, finger-pointing and name-calling, which is evident even in this very comment thread.

      We are so quick to crucify other people and villify their actions on a public stage. It is so easy to stand back and pass judgment on others for their mistakes, watch them burn in public, and pat ourselves on the back for sharing a video on facebook or twitter thinking we have helped justice prevail. But is it really justice that prevails? Have we really solved the problem?

      Or are we just waiting for the next "Amalayer" video to eat up and use as deflection so that others do not see the wrong we ourselves have done?

      If by reading your letter and the discusion here (or the discussion out there, lets say, on the radio just this morning!) just one or two of those perpetrators decide to change for the better, heeding the calls for peace and transformation, then I think that not showing the video will have been worth it.

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    2. I am happy you understand where I am coming from. This isn't a problem with this particular frat or law school, that is why I never mentioned the actual school. Interestingly I have studied in U.P., Ateneo and DLSU so theoretically they could be from any of these schools. Really, the school isn't important since almost all schools have violent frats. This is a problem with frats in general and their complete acceptance of violence as a means to an end, a screening policy for applicants, and a way to settle conflicts. That is why I have tried to demonstrate as clearly as I possibly can that the current direction of these groups is a certain path to personal compromise and eventually destruction from within. That said I know that frat men are intelligent and are wonderful human beings in some settings, like at home and with friends and family. Hopefully they don't let the mob mentality rule them at anytime, be in in initiations or in rumbles. Yes I agree that if the video becomes viral everyone will just focus on the wrong things and will miss the point completely. I am hoping that through this blog the issues can be elevated to a higher plane.

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    3. Claire, some of the people I meet in jail every Saturday are brods of Raymond Narag. These guys, having been incarcerated for all these years, have given up while back on their violent ways. But for the people that are already in NBP it is already too late. That is why I want to bring frat men, regardless of their school or frat affiliation to jail, so they can see first-hand that their violent initiations and rumbles, which they seem to take so lightly, can really land you on the inside for life. The guys who did what they did in my restaurant have already agreed to come and do paralegal work for indigent inmates. But any other frat men who want to come and do outreach work in prison anytime are more than welcome.

      For my inmate friends already behind bars there is little else they can do except appeal for sobriety from those frat man that may join them there soon. Youth gives people the feeling of invincibility but we all know how easily this appearance of strength can come crashing down. Just look at the whole frat from San Beda that was kicked out. And the Maximum Security area in Bilibid that is littered with brods from different schools and affiliations. The law doesn't care which frat you come from when someone dies. I hope my rants don't fall upon deaf ears.

      But if all these brods refuse to listen what else can I do except continue shouting from the rooftops of my blog, imploring them to change their ways. At the end of the day though, the choice to give up on violence is not mine but there's to make.

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    4. Lex, hope to meet you one of these days during our Bilibid visits. Ours is monthly.


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    5. Hi Mr. Martinez I am there every Saturday. So if you go on a Saturday please let me know. I would love to meet up with you on the inside.

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  14. i suggest that you send the cctv video to the dean of thenlaw school you are pertaining to. A lot of violence has happened between these two frats wiin and without the school grounds . The place where these violent acts happened do not matter. They will be dealt with accordingly whether resident students or those who have already graduated and waiting for bar results to come out...

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    1. The law school has actually contacted me and I have of course told them I will cooperate in any way they need to help them decide on this case. I was told that they are forming a committee to address this. I trust that they will come to a right decision regarding their students.

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  15. Fraternities are like secret societies and secret societies have no place in a free and open society. They thrive on secrecy and violence. Their sense of brotherhood is centered on taking advantage in every situation at the expense of others. Without violence and secrecy, these fraternities cannot last for even a minute of sunshine. If they don't employ physical violence, they use emotional violence to their members like threatening to reveal their personal or families' dark secret if they don't adhere to their code.

    No wonder why we are a nation full of violence and corruption. Almost all of our leaders, from politics to captains of industry, are proud members of such secret societies.

    This reminds me of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Corona when Senate President Enrile and Former Justice Cuevas of the defense and an old lawyer from the prosecution addressed each other as "brod", as if they are telling the world that they are so powerful. It was such a nasty scene that teaches our young that in order to be someone, you have to be like them.

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    1. I remember that part of the impeachment trial too. In fact here is a link to an article referring to that incident written by Sociologist, Frat Man, Professor and extremely decent human being, Randy David who says, "There’s no reason to believe that hazing is the common experience that binds brods to one another." Frat men, kindly read:

      www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC8QFjAA&url=http://opinion.inquirer.net/23795/the-brod-mystique&ei=2Fq5UMfnFvCVmQXa1oEg&usg=AFQjCNFcLCuRh_lWWqSJdy4mOQCeVwfGRQ&sig2=K14t4-2zubQFyZHZhdyMCw

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    2. I don't agree with this one. I'll give you, as an example, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, fraternity in the world - The Free and Accepted Masons.

      Secondly, are you a fratman? If not, then I don't think you are in a position to even say that a fraternity thrives in an environment of violence, whether physical or otherwise.

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    3. Nope I'm not a frat man, thus all my opinions are theoretically unbiased since I am not not bound by anyone's code. The reason I think that a fraternity thrives in an environment of violence is because violence is the entrance ticket to the organization. In other words, the current set of rules clearly state that unless you subscribe to these violent behaviors you cannot even join. I don't make a distinction to whether the violence is directed against others or against ourselves as neophytes. The effect in my opinion is the same.

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  16. I went to the same school those brawlers came from and left without having joined a frat. I always told off bullies in the hallways regardless of the frat.

    Have hope in our country. The same way people did not let carbuena get away with his bullying many found the video of amalayer fighting on the mrt overkill. Although the Internet breeds many Internet tough guys, there are those who are also vocal to keep balance.

    I hope you release the videos. It's not about frats but making sure hoodlums do not get away with such barbaric acts.

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    1. Honestly, and this is just my personal view, I don't think posting the Carabuena thing nor the Amalayer video nor the I wasn't informed video, did any good. Instead, everyone just ganged up on the one person involved and got on this bandwagon where they made fun of these people and labelled them as idiots and pun intended, barbarians. The problem, to my mind, is that for people to truly change this has to begin within. And in closed societies which I am not part of, like frats and military schools, unless these members themselves buy into the rationale behind reconsidering their currents paradigms, all my efforts are useless. What I do know is that the angry mob shouting out their anger at one group or one person via social networking only all more douses gasoline on a fire. And that fire is actually a smoke screen which blurs the real, deeper issue below. I actually addressed your point directly in my November 30 blog post dedicated to precisely what you are saying. Moreover, videos never show what happens before and after the act. It prompts the viewer into an automatic response - often the wrong and inappropriate response. It's sort of like a set-up actually, and if you buy into it immediately, without further understanding the deeper matters within, then you have just become part of the angry mob.

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  17. It's ironic that those who do not espouse violence and do not join frats are labeled barbarians by the frat men.

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    1. While I agree that this is ironic just turning the tables on these guys and calling them the true barbarians will not change anything. That is why I am trying to, through this blog, reason with them. These guys are not stupid nor are they evil. They are just like you and me and I am hoping that I can get them to see that whatever they are doing now is not the only way. But again, given I am not within their secret groups, they have to come to this conclusion on their own. All we can do is encourage them from the sidelines, pleading for them to listen and end this generational madness that has taken the lives away of too many promising young men.

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  18. And these people are supposed to be "educated"? Do us favor, kindly release copies of the CCTV footage so we will know who to avoid when frequenting public places, especially when we're with our families. You may also want to file appropriate charges to teach these "educated" people a lesson or two.

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  19. Obviously a number of us don't agree with your position. Since I can only speak for myself, I respect your view of things and your decision. Still, you can change your mind anytime. I wish you well and continued success in your endeavors.

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  20. Hi Lex,

    I was just wondering now your reason on not posting my comments...I understand its your right since this is your personal blog. but don't you think I have a point? Don't you think I am worth replying too? Or I did I hit a nerve? I am not questioning your action, but your reasoning and logic. Now isn't that the attitude that you want to change? I just hope that you can sleep soundly if thing would turn to worst with the rival frat and affecting other "innocents", or another place such as yours be another venue for such "Barbaric Acts". Or more serious injury if not death, just because your logic of not exposing the personalities involve because it will not change anything. I pray and hope your means will justify its end.

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    1. Hi Lex,

      As I have said, It is your decision whatever course of action you want go.... True its inherent with every ones right. Its also your right to protect your business by "requesting" those involve not drop by your place anymore..and by accepting settlement for the damages and loses, it is already mote and academic... I guess other establishment has to find out on their own who are the personalities involve so they too can try protect their business in case they transfer venue to theirs. It is also true that problem is in the system of violence ingrained in fraternities in general, just like your regular, akyat bahay, holduper,murderer, ordinary trouble makers, drug addicts, pickpockets, your corrupt officials and policemen, your regular and ordinary day to day criminals. They too are already ingrained in violence and terrorism. And for as long as they don't affect us or in case they do come are way for as long as they will settle its ok. "I can't do anything to change them anyway". Also true that in life we are never sure what will come our way, but its also true that our destiny are decided on what we do or don't do. An yes decision are made base on "available factors and ruled by conscience"... but these decision can be subjective to serve only a purpose and can only be known by the one who makes those decision.

      These was the gist of my first comment, prevalent "ATTITUDE" in our society, attitude of "Bakit pa ako makikialam baka madamay pa ako" or " Wala naman Mangyayari", Loud mouths who profess change but when ask to step up to the plate will say " CEGE MAUNA KAYO, PAG ME NANGYARI SA LIKOD NYO AKO"...

      I do respect your views, your decision... my point is simply you seem contradicting your own message. You want change but let some else do it. Regards.

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    2. At least we agree to disagree.... Good luck then with your course of action, Human nature at times would dictates because of frustration to "stick to their own side of the fence"... sometimes if not most " People with ingrained attitude always learn the hard way if they do learn"..

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  21. Ikaw lang ang makakapagsabi kung tama ang ginawa mo na hindi pagrelease ng video or hinde, bawat tao may sariling konsensiya. Kung ano man ang kahihinatnan ng pangyayaring ito, Diyos na ang bahalang humusga sa bawat isa. Ang paghihiganti ay nsa Diyos.

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    1. Ang sinabi ng Dyos ay.. "Sa Tao ang Gawa sa Dyos ang Awa"

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    2. Agree po ako diyan 100%, kaya nga po ako nag-sulat ng blog, para meron po akong ginagawa. Sa aking pananaw ito ang pinaka-epektibong paraan para makatulong. Mararaming salamat po!

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  22. Herein lies a perfect example of why we as a country cannot move forward... It is this "e ganyan talaga ang buhay; wala na tayo magagawa jan so pabayaan na lang" mentality. It is cowardly and horribly short sighted. Why do you think all our dirty politician continue to wreck our systems-- unchecked and seemingly without conscience? It is because we the people do not seem to value ACCOUNTABILITY. We let things slide because "ganyan talaga ang buhay" or let offenses repeat because " e mukhang sorry naman siya e" or the variant " no good naman will happen e."

    Whether you like it or not, these very same brats will be "leading" our nation one day; making your laws; deciding your legal fate and spending your tax money (on themselves). How can you not shudder at that thought? Instead you candy wrap your weakness in "no good can come from it?"

    Frankly, if this is your outlook on life and how you handle your affairs ; then no wonder such "luck" has befallen you. You have a responsibility sir. If you truly want to do the right thing-- then do it. Hiding behind euphemisms is just pathetic.

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    1. I totally respect that you disagree with my methodology. That is your right and I am in no position to tell you how to live your life. If you feel that I am weak and pathetic I accept that judgement 100% as again you are expressing your opinion. No problem there. Where we diverge though is where you think that I am a, "Ganyan talaga ang buhay" kinda guy. I don't define myself in that way. What I am though is someone who chooses to communicate directly with the people involved, and hopefully get them to realize the folly of their ways. In the past I have also engaged in the traditional perspective, fighting fire with fire, and yet in the end I believe a combative, accusatory stance only cements the contrary position of the two parties across the table from each other. Now, I no longer choose that option. But I will continue to do everything I possibly can to change this dismal situation that continues to exist in the highest echelons of our society - the violence in our hearts, perpetuated by fraternities. I think we both want the same thing which is for our country to move forward by doing the right thing. And that is what I am trying to do as fearlessly as I possibly can. Peace be with you po!

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    2. As I said last time Good luck with your course of action. But come to think of it, violence sowed by these "Violent Fratmen" is different from your regular, Addicts, Criminals, Akyat Bahay, Murderers, Corrupt Politician, Etc. For what ever reason they do what they do, what thing that is common with all, They all don't know the meaning of Respect and Accountability. Advantage of these Known Frats especially from Exclusive school is most if not all have the connection and money that will back them up. History have shown it time and time again. Literally getting away with murder. How do we now reconcile these inequities?

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  23. Its like an animal world
    Out there and lex is just being a human intelligent individual

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    1. Thanks for your support! While it is true its like an animal world I am absolutely convinced that these frat men who did the beating are not animals. They have hearts and minds that are working and like any other person can change their ways if they choose. That is my hope, that all frat men band together and decide to end violence once and for all. And this time I hope that this is a genuine effort unlike the lip service that has been paid by various frats in the past. When there is life there is hope. I will not give up in believing that frats can change their so-called traditions which have been leaving people in the morgue year after year after year. No one wants a death, even guys who haze and engage in rumbles. I would love for this culture to finally change.

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  24. Hi Mr. Ledesma,

    I am saddenned by this incident because I was there when this incident happened. My cousins from Chicago decided to unwind and have recommended your restaurant as having a family-oriented restaurant that serve good food and drinks. When we got there, there was already a heated conversation between 2 guys, we waited for a few minutes to see if the fight would subside only to be shocked and surprised that in the next coming minutes; we started hearing what seemed like plates and glasses being thrown and cries from friends of the guy being beaten up. We ran towards the coffee shop nearby as we were afraid that the fight will turn worse. We quickly walked towards our car but noticed people walking as fast as we were and drove their cars away from the scene. We figured they were involved in the fight how they rushed to leave the place. The other car was even parked beside us and we needed to wait after they leave so we can go to our car because we were afraid that we might get involved.

    I just wish during that time your security guard was able to control it or perhaps call the nearby barangay station for assistance. It was unfortunate that it had come to this but for the protection of loyal customers like me, I suggest to have tighter security especially during the wee hours in the morning were sometimes fun moments become tragic incidents.

    I hope for a peaceful and a mature outcome of the incident. I agree on the method you approached and wished that the people involved in such activities will come to their senses.

    Thank you.

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  25. We called the barangay po but everything happened so fast. By the time they came everything was over. If you watch the CCTV several of our staff including the guard tried to get in the middle. But again with that many violent frat men that were determined to beat their rival up I'm afraid that anyone who put their bodies in between would surely get beaten up as well. I am also hoping for a peaceful and mature outcome to this situation. Actually I have been in touch with the frat that did the damage and already they have agreed to accompany me to National Bilibid Prison to meet the frat men there and also provide free paralegal work to inmates in need. I am excited and hopeful that this can lead to some deep personal growth in these men.

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    1. Will there be any apologies to the guy they beat up? Far cry i guess.

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  26. I seriously hope that things get sorted out. I love whistlestop! I will definitely go back, frat war or no frat war. You are doing a great job, Sir Lex.

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  27. Well said, sir. I am not a fratman (although i almost joined one, and am extremely thankful i did not) and i am appalled at what they did to your restaurant. I really do not understand how they could be so cruel and numb to everything else but themselves. But i agree with what you did in not filing a case against them. That would not change anything. Take San Beda, for example. In the past year, two initiates died of hazing with less than six months between them. The first fraternity was punished, but that did not stop the second one from doing the exact same thing. Many schools have tried to outlaw these fraternities, but that did not stop them. I believe that the only way to stop these rumbles such as the one which devastated your establishment is to educate the youth, to instill in them the true meaning of brotherhood, which goes way beyond one's pride. Which is why i support your cause, sir, and why i am asking for your permission to share this blog on facebook so that others, too, would know the side of third persons who suffer because of senseless "frat wars".

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  28. If you think you cannot make a difference, you are right. If you think you can make a difference, you are also right. It depends on whom you feed. I wish you good luck & justice for all concerned.

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    1. I am absolutely certain I can make a difference. The big question though is how. Really the end goal is the same its just the means that people disagree upon. Thanks for your the luck you are sending my way and yes I hope justice will be served for all aggrieved parties concerned.

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  29. Lex, I supposed you have not limited yourself to helping Fratmen in the bilibid only? Cause if you are, what would the other inmates think of you? They too have suffered injustice one way or another and most probably trying to find a new life if possible. And your being selective only to fratmen will only fuel the hatred of other inmates. As I have said, regardless of background or status if your recourse for getting even is violence, it makes you no different from other criminals. Unless part of your plan is also providing new life for other prisoners as well. Just a thought.

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    1. Nope I work with a lot of different people inside jail, only a small minority of which are frat men. The three most common reasons for ending up in the Maximum Security area of Bilibid (which requires a 20 years or more sentence) is rape, murder and drugs. The frat men just happen to all fall in the second category.

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  30. Good on you brother, the university can deal with these people because ultimately, what is at stake is their education, their livelihood and the names of their families.

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