UP Sigma Rho Fraternity

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The Sigma Rho Fraternity
Founded 1938; 80 years ago (1938)
University of the Philippines College of Law
Type University
Scope University of the Philippines Diliman
Motto Seekers of the Right
Colors Maroon, Green, White, Gold
Symbol Fraternity seal
Chapters None
Headquarters University of the Philippines Diliman
Quezon City, NCR
Website http://www.upsigmarho.com/

The Sigma Rho Fraternity is a College of Law-based fraternity of the University of the Philippines Diliman and reputed to be the pioneer in law-student fraternities in Asia. It maintains its singular existence with resident and alumni brods. The two letters of the Greek alphabet are its emblems for the stature of the brods as "Seekers of the Right".


The Sigma Rho Fraternity is a Law-based fraternity in the University of the Philippines College of Law and has been in continuous existence for more than 75 years. The Greek initials ΣΡ of Sigma Rho stand for the initials of Sanchez Roman, a Spanish jurist whose scholarly commentaries on the Civil Code of Spain were authoritative references used by the students of the UP College of Law.[1]


The Sigma Rho Fraternity was formally organized during the pre-war era in 1938 at the University of the Philippines College of Law through the initiative of some twelve idealistic junior law students Padre Faura St., Manila. Attracted by the Fraternity's laudable objectives especially in the field of scholarship, the cream of the UP Law studentry joined and were initiated into the Sigma Rho. Among them were law freshmen students like Jovito R. Salonga, Pedro L. Yap and Manuel Montecillo who later topped the 1944, 1946, and 1949 bar examinations, respectively.

The fraternity’s presiding officer is known as the Grand Archon, which means Chief Magistrate in ancient Greece. The first person to ever have served as the fraternity's Grand Archon was George V. McLure, an American Law student from the UP College of Law.[2]


Fraternity wars[edit]

On December 8, 1994, Dennis Venturina, a Sigma Rhoan, was murdered by members of the Scintilla Juris Fraternity. The Philippine Supreme Court has recently upheld in 2014 the convictions of 5 Scintilla Juris members for murder (Daniel Feliciano Jr., Julius Victor Medalla, Christopher Soliva, Warren Zingapan and Robert Michael Beltran Alvir).[3]

On February 10, 2000, Den Daniel Reyes, a member of the rival Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity, was killed in a riot with members of the Sigma Rho Fraternity. Den Daniel Reyes suffered multiple stab wounds and died not long after.[4] Several eyewitnesses have testified that the members of the Sigma Rho Fraternity were attacked by armed and hooded men near the UP Law Center, which resulted in the tragic death of the Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity member.[5]

Initiation-related hazing[edit]

Cris Mendez, a 20-year-old graduating UP student allegedly died during an initiation rite with the fraternity on August 27, 2007.[6] Mendez was rushed to Veterans Memorial Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Quezon City police investigators found out that Mendez was a victim of hazing due to “bruises all over his body, particularly on the back of his arms and thighs.”[7]

Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and former Senate President Jovito Salonga has resigned as member of the Sigma Rho fraternity because of this incident. In a statement sent to the Inquirer, Salonga, one of the most prominent Sigma Rhoans, said that he was resigning “because of recent events in which Sigma Rho has been involved.”.[7]

Notable members[edit]

Bar Topnotchers[edit]


  • Magno Gatmaitan '38- Charter Adviser of the founding Members in 1938; former Associate Justice, Court of Appeals and UP College of Law professor
  • Pedro Yap,'39- former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines
  • Marcelo Fernan '48- former Chief Justice and Senate President
    Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan'48
  • Serafin R. Cuevas ’48- Former Associate Justice, Supreme Court, Defense lawyer of former CJ Corona in the Impeachment Proceedings
  • Efren Plana ’48- Former Associate Justice, Supreme Court

Buenaventura J Guerrero '52 Associate Justice,Court of Appeals

Executive and local government units[edit]

  • Rafael M. Salas, '48- former Executive Secretary, Office of the President of the Philippines, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, and Founder, UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA)
  • Jose Leido, Jr.,’51- former Minister of Natural Resources, Assistant Executive Secretary and Legislator
  • Wilfrido Villacorta- Philippine's Permanent Representative to the ASEAN, member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission
  • Arthur Defensor '59- Iloilo Governor and Former House Representative Majority Floor Leader
  • Rene C.Villa '75 - Former Secretary ,Department of Agrarian Reform.
  • Fulgencio Factoran ’63- Former Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Avelino “Nonong” Cruz ’75- Former Secretary of National Defense
  • Eduardo de Mesa ’80- Former Presidential Legal Counsel
  • Ronald O. Solis '81- Former NTC Commissioner
  • Jose Anselmo Cadiz ’81- Former Solicitor-General
  • Wenceslao Trinidad ’51 GA*’55- Former Pasay City Mayor
  • Hilario Davide III '85- Current Cebu Governor
  • Aquil Tamano '91- Current Commissioner, Games and Amusements Board


  • Juan Ponce Enrile '52, former Senate President, also former Secretary/Minister of National Defense as well as Congressman from Cagayan
  • Edgardo Angara, '52, former Senate President, Executive Secretary, Secretary of Agriculture, and President, University of the Philippines
  • Franklin Drilon '66, current Senate President as well as Executive Secretary, Secretary of Justice, and Secretary of Labor, all under President Corazon Aquino
  • Jovito Salonga, '39, former Senate President (resigned)
  • Sonny Angara, '96, current Senator, former Representative of the Lone District of Aurora

House of Representatives[edit]

Constitutional offices[edit]


  • Domingo Disini ’52- Labor law expert, Professor, UP College of Law
  • Bartolome Carale '52- Insurance law expert, Professor, UP College of Law
  • Rogelio Vinluan '57- Evidence law expert, Professor, UP College of Law

Arts and literature[edit]

  • Stevan Javellana ’39- Author of “Without Seeing the Dawn”
  • Rick Rocamora '63- multi-awarded international Photojournalist
  • José Aruego ‘50 (August 9, 1932-August 9, 2012) was a Filipino children's book author and illustrator. He was born in Manila and once worked as a lawyer. He died in New York City, where he lived for decades, on August 9, 2012.


  • Joe Lipa ’63- Former basketball coach of the National Team and coach of the 1986 UP UAAP Championship Team
  • Cholo Cayanga '87 - Former player of the UP Men's Football Team, UAAP Champion 1987, Team Captain UAAP Champion 1990, Philippine National Team (14 and Under - Gothia Cup - Sweden and Helsinki Cup - Finland), Philippine National Team Co-Captain (19 and Under)
  • Step Permanes '08 - Former member of the UP Men's Football Champion Team Season 70 and 72, Former UP Men's Football Team Captain 2010 and UAAP Season 72 Most Valuable Player
  • Allen Jose Serna '08 - Former member of the UP Men's Football Champion Team Season 70,72 and 73, Former member of the Philippine National Football Team (2009-2013) and UAAP Season 70 Best Defender
  • Keith "Es" Mordeno '08 - Former member of the UP Men's Football Champion Team Season 70,72 and 73

Other notable members[edit]

  • Romeo Capulong '54- Prominent Human Rights Lawyer
  • Macapanton Abbas Jr.’63 Grand Archon* '66- Former Secretary-General, Bangsa Moro Liberation Organization, Sultan of Ranao
  • Firdausi Abbas '66- Sultan of Lanao
  • Fidel Agcaoili '62- Chairperson NDFP Monitoring Committee
  • Rafael Baylosis '67 - Member, Peace Negotiation Panel, NDF
  • Reynaldo Samaco '61 - Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa


  1. ^ Abaya, Eduardo. "Recollections on the Fraternity". Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "About the Fraternity". Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Aning, Jerome (8 June 2014). "SC upholds murder conviction of 5 UP fratmen". Inquirer.net. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Bagares, Romel (20 February 2000). "Joint CPD-UP police patrols proposed to curb frat violence in Dilimancampus". PhilSTAR.com. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Bagares, Romel (28 November 2000). "3 UP Sigma Rhoans charged". PhilSTAR.com. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Doctor who brought Cris Mendez to VMMC surfaces". 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  7. ^ a b Santos, Tina (2007-09-15). "Salonga resigns from Sigma Rho". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-10-22.