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SIGMA RHO/salonga
9/26/2007 7:10:01 AM

99.99% of the time, a Sigma Rhoan who has gained prominence and flourished with the help of the Sigma Rho returns the favor to the fraternity. The .01% who do not are inconsequential as far as reckoning the continued survival of the Sigma Rho. Salonga’s resignation at a time of deep crisis in the Sigma Rho, when every one seems to be condemning it and/or calling for its abolition, is tantamount to denying Sigma Rho his moral presence and his precious advice on how to handle that crisis. But then again, there are many in the Sigma Rho who can fill that void created by Salonga’s resignation.

Salonga may have resigned from the Sigma Rho, but he will continue to symbolize the excellence that Sigma Rho makes out of its members. His resignation does not erase the mark “Sigma Rho” on the Salonga name.

His resignation, though tough on the Sigma Rho, was premature and ill-advised: Premature, because the investigation is still ongoing and no concrete evidence has established any particular Sigma Rhoan’s culpability over the death of the UP student. Ill-advised, because it severs his nexus to an institution that made him, and sustained him in his political battles, and this possibly marks him as an ingrate.

His resignation even betrays his confusion and lack of grasp of the “one-fraternity, two-systems” concept that pervades the Sigma Rho. This concept is well-defined by former Environment Secretary Jun Factoran, thus: “I have been asked whether I intend to follow the example of former Senator Jovito Salonga by resigning from the Sigma Rho fraternity. The short answer is no. But this answer can best be understood in the context of what the Sigma Rho fraternity is. The Sigma Rho fraternity is not a single institution. In reality, there are two different entities which may, and do, carry the name Sigma Rho. One is the university-based, U.P. College of Law-centered fraternity composed of residents. It has its own rules and regulations. It is a dictatorship where the basic principle is that the word of the Grand Archon is law. But the election of the Grand Archon is a jealously guarded democratic process. The other, and bigger, Sigma Rho is not an institution that has well defined rules. Instead, it is a widely dispersed community of Sigma Rho fraternity members who are no longer students of the University of the Philippines. We, in this community, do not necessarily know each other. We are of differing ages, status in life, occupations, professions, and political persuasions. There are commonalities in the two. Principally that, by and large, Sigma Rhoans help and support each other, whenever they are asked to, and whenever they can. The Sigma Rho fraternity has been kind to me. The valuable lessons I have learned, as well as the encouragement, assistance, and support from my fraternity brothers, which I have received in school and thereafter, are too many to recount. The deep and abiding friendships I have made with many brods remain. I am convinced that whoever I am now and whatever little I have accomplished are owing, in no small measure, to my membership in the Sigma Rho fraternity. By far, the biggest lesson I have learned from the Sigma Rho fraternity is the value of friendship. A sub lesson is that I should not desert a friend when he is in crisis, no matter how badly he has behaved. So, no, I do not intend to resign. How does one resign from a community anyway?”



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