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The ironies of a fraternity brotherhood


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: `It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord…” (Romans 12:19, the Holy Bible).

RAMOS, TARLAC IN THE NEWS: My town, Ramos, in the eastern side of the province of Tarlac, rarely, if ever, gets into the news. It is small (comprising only nine barangays), rural (as farming is still generally the source of our townmates’ livelihood), and generally unaffected by what is going on around it, contented in the thought that many of its sons and daughters are trying to find their respective places under the sun, both here and abroad.

But in the last several days, Ramos, Tarlac is in the news, courtesy of the brutal killing of Mark Andrei Marcos, a 21 year old law student of San Beda Colllege who was a son of an engineer-father and a mother who passed away when he was still very young. The town, where both Mark Andrei and I grew up, is now in the limelight alright, but what a way for it to be in the limelight!

I condole with the Marcos family, particularly with Mark Andrei’s grandmother, Mrs. Guadalupe Ibarra Marcos, who was my grade six teacher, and her husband, former Regional Trial Court Judge Martonino Marcos. I grieve likewise for the father, Engr. Mac Ferdie “Bongbong” Marcos, whose dreams of having a lawyer-son was shattered by the very men whom Mark Andrei wanted to be his fraternity brothers.

MARK ANDREI’S DREAMS: The sad fact about this incident is that, Mark Andrei belonged to a rare breed of children from Ramos, Tarlac who wanted to become a lawyer and, much later on, to become a judge. Not many young men and women from the town wanted to become lawyers, not really because they didn’t feel qualified aspiring to become lawyers, but more because of poverty.

This was the reason why many in Ramos---even from those outside of the Marcos family---rejoiced when Mark Andrei decided to pursue studies in law. Qualified, competent, and coming from a family of lawyers---his aunt, Mariemier, sister of Engr. Mac Ferdie, is a lawyer, and his maternal uncles and grandparents from Camiling, Tarlac, are all lawyers---everybody believed his future as a lawyer was sealed, and would become true in just a matter of time.

Until the day that he was enticed to join a fraternity, of course, which now proved to be his undoing. This decision of Mark Andrei to become a frat man was a great surprise even to his pained grandfather, Judge Marcos, who rued the fact that he often warned his grandson against joining any fraternity in San Beda, on account of the still unresolved case of Marvin Reglos, also a hazing fatality.

THE IRONY OF A FRATERNITY BROTHERHOOD: Now, Mark Andrei is gone, and so are his youthful dreams and ambitions of sitting as a judge someday. The greatest and most painful irony here is that these dreams and ambitions, which brought him to San Beda in the first place, were cut short by the very persons who promised to help him fulfill them, if he joined their fraternity.

But, if I am to believe an uncle-lawyer of Mark Andrei, not everything went with Mark Andrei. The troubles of those who killed him are just starting, with a very strong warning aired on national TV, although veiled and disguised as a prayer: “I pray that the authorities will get the perpetrators first”.

I do not advocate revenge, for God said, “leave room for my wrath”. But, certainly, can we fault grieving relatives and people who loved the gentle and unassuming kid that was Mark Andrei if they entertain the notion that those who killed him should be held responsible for their misdeeds, whoever they maybe?

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