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Public Affairs

Brod is thicker than water

Episode on September 24, 2007 Monday late night after Saksi This Monday on I-Witness: a true tale of two frats, two victims, two mothers … During the four Sundays of September, along festive Taft Avenue, thousands have taken the bar exams to become lawyers and future leaders of the country. Hazing victim Cris Mendez had dreamt of going to law school and someday passing the bar. Instead, he was buried on the first day of the bar exams. In the intense month of taking the bar and soul-searching over Cris's death, I-Witness’ Howie Severino explores UP Law, the nation’s leading law school -- now known for fraternities that produce both leaders and killers. Unable to find the suspected fraternity, Sigma Rho, Howie spends time instead with the frat’s archrival, Alpha Phi Beta. Some of the APB brods were convicted for the 1998 hazing death of Alex Icasiano and spent up to two years in prison. One brod talks movingly about the stigma of being an ex-convict in law school. Was there justice? Could this be a road map for Sigma Rho? Howie asks the mother of Icasiano, the APB neophyte who died. She describes the hard path to the conviction and ultimately forgiveness, and her relationship with the frat today -- which counts two Supreme Court justices and rising stalwart, Senator Chiz Escudero, in addition to her son among its proud roster of brods. In a moving scene of the documentary, Mrs. Icasiano meets Cris Mendez’ mother for the first time to offer her condolences. Howie for his part finally comes face to face with Sigma Rho brods and is surprised by the kind of men he meets. It gives him hope that Sigma Rho will eventually choose to do the right thing. Watch this I-Witness documentary by Howie Severino on Monday late night after Saksi on GMA.
Tuwing Linggo ng Setyembre, animo’y piyesta sa kahabaan ng Taft Avenue. Dinadagsa ang lugar dahil sa taunang Bar Exams na kinukuha ng libu-libong estudyanteng umaasang maging abogado. Marami sa kanila, hangad pang mabilang sa mga pinuno ng ating bansa. Isa si Cris Mendez sa mga nangarap pumasa sa bar. Pero sa unang araw ng bar exams, sa halip na sa Taft Ave, sa huling hantungan hinatid si Cris ng kaniyang pamilya. Ngayong Lunes sa I-Witness, susubukan alamin ni Howie Severino kung gaano nga ba kahalaga sa mga magiging abogado ang mapabilang sa isang fraternity. Papasukin ni Howie ang mundo ng UP Law School – na nakikilala ngayon hindi lang para sa mga lider na galing rito kundi para na rin sa mararahas nitong kapatiran. Pilit na hahanapin ni Howie ang Sigma Rho, ang frat na itinuturo sa pagkamatay ni Cris Mendez. Makikilala rin niya ang Alpha Pi Beta, mortal na karibal ng Sigma Rho, na nakapatay na rin ng sarili nilang brod dahil sa hazing. Halos sampung taon na mula nang bawian ng buhay si Alex Icasiano sa kamay ng APB. Sa isang makabagbagdamdaming eksena ng dokumentaryo, makikilala ng nanay ni Alex ang ina ni Cris Mendez. At matapos ang ilang linggo ng pag-aabang, makakaharap na rin ni Howie sa isang ekslusibong panayam ang ilang miyembro ng Sigma Rho. Ang kuwento ng dalawang biktima, dalawang kapatiran, at dalawang ina … sa I-Witness sa ika-24 ng Setyembre, Lunes ng hatinggabi, sa GMA.