MANILA (UPDATE) - University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman said on Friday it is investigating allegations of hazing by the Sigma Rho fraternity.
The statement was issued after photos and screenshots of a group chat of supposed members of the fraternity on hazing-related violence became viral on social media.
A photo showed an anonymous man with bruises on both arms.
Screenshots of conversations also showed another unknown person holding a paddle, and someone threatening to harm a "junior" member should the latter show the bruises he sustained from hazing.
"Following leads from social media post, we are investigating allegations of hazing by the Sigma Rho Fraternity," the university's Office of the Chancellor said in a statement.
Suspects on the alleged hazing are already under preventive suspension and formal charges will be filed once there is evidence, it added.
"We condemn all forms of violence and all acts that covertly or blatantly disregard the rule of law," the statement read.
Vice President for Student Affairs Jerwin Agpaoa said those who will be found guilty taking part in the hazing will be expelled, and those aware of it or were present during the hazing will be banned from enrollment for at least 5 years.
Based at the UP College of Law, the Sigma Rho Fraternity is known as the pioneer in law-student fraternities in Asia. Some of its known alumni are Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
The culture of hazing in fraternities and sororities have again been put on the spotlight following the death of a plebe allegedly tortured over a missing pair of boots in the Philippine Military Academy.
Darwin Dormitorio died last week after complaining of stomach pain.
The 20-year-old cadet was confined at the hospital twice in the previous month and had bruises on his stomach consistent with hazing.
- with a report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News