This is not really about me, but about the people I meet, the places I visit and the stories I want to share.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cries for Cris

The Quezon City Police District has already determined that 20-year old UP Public Administration student Cris Anthony Mendez died due to hazing. But with the prevailing culture of silence at the University of the Philippines Diliman, will we ever know which group is behind the killing?

Everyone is talking about the possible involvement of Sigma Rho Fraternity, except the police. And not even the UP Administration is talking about the fraternity. At least for now.

Some students at the National College of Public Administration and Governance or NCPAG knew that Cris was a neophyte of Sigma Rho. Reportedly, NCPAG Student Council President Ariel Paulo Ante was the one who recruited Cris who is also an officer of the council.

There are also other indications that the fraternity may have been involved. Since the death of Cris, Sigma Rhoans are nowhere to be found in their usual tambayans at the College of Law and in Palma Hall. The fraternity also refused to sign a statement condemning the death of Cris – a statement which was signed by practically all College of Law-based organizations.

But the main missing link in this case is a certain Dr. Francisco Cruz who could shed more light into the Cris' death.

Cruz was the one who brought the lifeless body of Cris to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center early Monday morning. The security guard of the hospital was able to write in his logbook even the vehicle used by the doctor, a Toyota Innova with plate number ZAB-393.

A quick check at the Land Transportation Office a day after the incident, I learned that the vehicle is registered under the name Francisco C. Cruz. We then checked the registered address in Congressional Village in Quezon City and from there we were able to confirm from the village guard that a certain Dr. Francisco Cruz is one of the homeowners.

Poor guard, he could have lost his job. Sorry sir, but I just really wanted to get in touch with Dr. Cruz.

But there is one more thing that could have made matters worse for the guard. While I was talking with him, I “accidentally” saw the home phone number of Dr. Cruz in their directory.

So when I got back to the office, I called up the number but I was told the doctor was not home yet. A day after, I called them up again but to no avail. But because of that second phone call, I was able to confirm from their househelp that the doctor has a son named Mico.

Again, sorry to the househelp, I just wanted to confirm if Mico is the son of your boss.

Before calling up the Francisco household the second time around, sources had tipped me off that the doctor’s son named Mico is a law student and a member of Sigma Rho. After I asked the househelp about Dr. Cruz, I tried my luck asking where Mico was at that time. Take note, I was not yet sure if Dr. Cruz indeed has a son named Mico. But the househelp replied that like the doctor, Mico was not home too.

Dr. Cruz has already established communication with the police and clarified he was not hiding. He said he was unavailable days after he brought Cris to the hospital because he reportedly said he was already condemned by the media.

For the sake of Cris’ grieving family, Dr. Cruz should surface soon. He has to answer these questions:

Why was he the one who brought Cris to the hospital?

Was his act related to the fact that his son Mico is a member of Sigma Rho?

Why did he just leave Cris there?

Is it not ironic that he is a doctor and yet it seemed as if he did not care if Cris was already dead?

Why did he not report the incident to the police?

Why do hospital records show that the body he brought was named “Mark Anthony” Mendez? Did they try to conceal the real identity of Cris?

I am not judging Dr. Mendez. I just want to know the whole truth from him.

In fact, I tried contacting him since Day 2 of this story after I learned that he is a second-degree uncle of one of my co-reporters at ABS-CBN. I respect his decision to keep mum on the issue. But I hope he will clarify things soon.

This culture of violence has to stop and it could only happen if Dr. Cruz starts talking.


Blogger armovil said...

Adrian, thats very investigative task for you to know the real truth as well as for the viewing public to know. From the different areas of the Philippines as 'lagalag' to a crimebusting job. Ingat ka na lang palagi...Arlan

3:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate your search for the truth, but you must also know that what you are demanding of a person is something you should reflect on more extensively.

If I were to put myself in Dr. Cruz's position, saying the "truth", whatever you expect that to be, is in fact not as easy as you make it seem. You think in a very one-dimensional manner. If you were plunged against your will to be in his position, however, I am very sure you would react the same way.

I think a lot have been so swayed by their initial instincts of being outraged by such an event (and rightly so), but we have overlooked the simple fact that here is a man (and his son) who did the right thing against all odds. I am sure they are not stupid; they knew very well that by bringing Cris to the hospital, they would immediately implicate themselves. But when no one else had the courage to do the right thing, they did so.

Remember that you are not in their shoes and you have no right to judge.

Also, did you actually think that by "stalking" them, you'd somehow find your way to the truth? Do you actually think you could force one to tell you the truth? Be patient. You are angered, but even that is not reason enough to deserve the truth.

The truth, after all, is something very few will be able to understand. And the truth is, perhaps you are not in the best position to know it.

2:55 AM

Blogger Deaconess Rhiza said...

Many of the injustices in our world today are caused by those people who remain silent.. Just continue in your search for the truth, God is with you...Ingat po palagi...I'm praying for you...God bless you!!

12:15 PM

Anonymous Frommy said...

I am surprised that you're using the term "truth" at a time when no one actually knows the truth - ONLY CRIS AND THOSE INVOLVED IN THE CRIME. I also do not understand where you're coming from, why you're in such defense of Dr. Cruz and his son. Righteous and courageous - with you're descriptions I'd assume you're acquainted with them. Fyi, no lists of suspects have even been issued yet. More so at the time of your writing.

"Remember that you are not in their shoes and you have no right to judge."

-Chrissakes, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Parang ikaw, jinujudge mo si Adrian. Hehe. :D

Correct me if I'm wrong, Adrian's a journalist. And a journalist 'is a person who practices journalism, the GATHERING and DISSEMINATION of information about current events, trends, issues and PEOPLE' according to Wikipedia. "Stalking" is an exaggeration.

"The truth, after all, is something very few will be able to understand. And the truth is, perhaps you are not in the best position to know it."

- Since you speak fondly of the "truth," I have reasons to suspect you indeed know the truth. What then is the "truth"? Would you mind telling the "truth," follow in the footsteps of Dr. Cruz and his son Mico who, according to you, had the courage to do the right thing when no one else had? And most importanly, would you do this to shed light on Cris Mendez' death which, by the way, is the main topic here?

"Only a few people will understand the truth"? In what way will other people not understand? Is it something so complicated that only thugs and killers would comprehend? With your absurd statements I'd say you're no different than those who killed Cris.

You speak of everything so lightly. You feel for Dr. Cruz and his son so obviously, you're not apathetic. Divert your sympathy to the real victims here - Cris, his family, and his friends. If Dr. Cruz, his son, and the others involved in this case are innocent, let them clear and prove it themselves. Okay, yakker?

3:45 AM

Blogger Adrian Ayalin said...

Thanks for your comments, positive or negative.

Frommy is right, bottomline here is that cris and his family are the victims here. And having said that, i think that is enough reason for all of us to work hard in finding the truth - the media, the up administration, the police and the nbi.

Btw, just to be clear, i do not personally know frommy, arlan, and deaconess rhiza. Their positive comments were unsolicited.

In fact i have also discouraged at least two of my friends for commenting since they may have been biased for me.

But then again, thanks to all those who understand what the media is doing in this case.

I hope justice will be served soon. Btw, if you are reading this blog and you have any information or any tip, any lead we and the authorities can work on, please email me at

7:58 PM

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12:03 AM

Blogger Richard Lionheart said...

I'll just pray...

Wala naman kasi na akong magagawa diyan. May tiwala pa naman ako sa justice sa Philippines :)

6:29 PM

Blogger Manila Bay Watch said...

Very heartwrenching story of a young man so full of life and now dead.

How could those people who hazed, beat and killed him even begin to think that inflicting bodily harm on a person is the meaning of FRATERNITY?

I am so shocked. What a warped sense of values.

Filipinos have a tendency to copy from abroad but have no real sense of how to do it - they go overboard! So immature!

5:28 AM

Blogger Manila Bay Watch said...

Congratulations for your blog - it is beautiful, will be back to read more.


5:30 AM

Blogger bianca said...

happy new year to you too adrian! sana never tayo tamarin mag-blog at hanggang forever na to.. or at least as long as we have ideas flowing. :)

6:17 PM

Blogger theporsche02 said...

sir, what you did was a hard one.. i just had my speech with regard to cris mendez and the evolution of fraternities in the philippines. Good Job Sir!

2:04 PM


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