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On the Radar

People insulted in the controversial #LonsiLeaks speak out

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
People insulted in the controversial #LonsiLeaks speak out
Investigations into the veracity of the conversation are ongoing, but social media users were quick to denounce and correct the apparent display of "misogynist and racist" mindsets of the people in the supposed Upsilon Sigma Phi members chat group.
BY-NC-ND/Butch Dalisay

MANILA, Philippines — An anonymous Twitter account—that has since been made private—has stirred quite a storm and opened an apparent Pandora's box the past week after posting several screenshots of a supposed private chat among members of Upsilon Sigma Phi.

The leaked conversation among the fraternity members run to thousands of exchanges where different personalities and sectors were at the end of their insults. The conversations run from the mundane to the offensive: Telling women that their place is in the kitchen to topics of killing other people.

Investigations into the veracity of the conversation are ongoing, but social media users were quick to denounce and correct the apparent display of "misogynist and racist" mindsets of the people in the supposed chat group.

Here are some of the reactions of the personalities and some sectors brought up in what has been dubbed as #LonsiLeaks:

On Women

A supposed fratman said an archaic slur that women should remain in the kitchen and should only use their mouths to warm a man's penis. 

The University of the Philippines Center for Women and Gender Studies denounced the "hegemonic masculinity" exemplified in the leaked conversations. 

"Patriarchal attitudes and behaviour that manifest themselves in slurs and overt acts not only against women, but also members of the LGBTQIA+ community, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized sectors are deplorable and unacceptable wherever they occur, more so in the National University," it added.

It also appeared in the supposed conversation that some of them think of women as their property after talking about the daughter of their own "brother."

On Lumads

UP has always welcomed indigenous peoples like the Lumads and has been a venue for discourse on their plight. But a supposed member of the fraternity said that Lumads should just be killed.

Some of the Lumads have been driven away from their lands due to violence and continue to fight for their rights.

On Muslims

In one of the chats, a student was singled out for his comment on the recent frat-related violence in the campus involving Upsilon.

A member of the group said that Muslims would not go to heaven and that the religion has wrong beliefs that’s why they were being bombed in Mindanao, where majority of Filipino Muslims live.

Genocide is a crime recognized under international law in 1946 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is a crime that is widely condemned across the globe.

On frat hazing victim Atio Castillo

A year ago, the black and blue, lifeless body of Atio Castillo was found at a street in Manila on a Sunday morning. It was later learned that Castillo was a neophyte of a fraternity at the University of Santo Tomas.

His parents are still grieving the loss of their child, and are continuing the legal battle against members of the said fraternity at the Manila court. However, a supposed conversation among the Upsilon fratmen thought the case of Castillo could be turned into a joke.

On members of the LGBTQ community

An exchange in the supposed leaked conversation of the fratmen also showed their views on casual violence against members of the LGBTQ community.

The members of the fraternity supposedly said that UP Babaylan, an organization that pushes for the rights of the LGBTQ community, would “welcome violence if done by someone good-looking.” This despite the LGBTQ community fighting the very same violence on top of the fight against discrimination to this day.

On UP Men's Basketball Team member Bright 

The UP Men’s Basketball Team has bagged a spot at the UAAP Final Four for this season—a feat last achieved by the UP MBT 21 years ago.

On top of a successful season, Akhuetie was also named as the Most Valuable Player by the UAAP. But in the alleged conversation among the fratmen, Akhuetie was referred to as a “pet gorilla.”

On people they insulted but failed to get the names right

In the long conversation among the supposed fratmen, they hurled curses against a few UP students.

UP, Upsilon to investigate

Several members of the fraternity have denounced the leaked conversations attributed to their "brods" and have opted to take a leave of absence from Upsilon.

FROM INTERAKSYON: Upsilon Sigma Phi members denounce views of alleged frat brothers in #LonsiLeaks

Upsilon said they have “conducted an initial investigation on the matter” and they would forward their findings to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

They also assured that they would help exacting accountability “consistent with the dictates of due process.”

The fraternity also called for sobriety while the probe is ongoing. “We wish not to further aggravate any harm that may have been caused by the postings,” the statement read.

They lamented how the conversation was attributed to them days after the fraternity just celebrated its centennial anniversary. “It appears that there is a concerted effort to besmirch the reputation of our Fraternity during this momentous celebration,” Upsilon added.

UP President Danilo Concepcion, also a member of Upsilon, said he “would not protect any fraternity brother who may be found culpable of these kinds of offensive acts.”

Fraternity culture

Amid the criticism directed at Upsilon, Twitter user Ayrie Ching pointed out that criticisms against fraternities have long been about “a macho-feudal patriarchy.”

And the leaked conversation just proves that such mindset prevails.

She stressed that statements of condemnation and gender sensitivity training would never resolve an issue such as this if it “would not be transparent and [people are not held] accountable in the end.”

FRATERNITY

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

UPSILON SIGMA PHI

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