The Tau Gamma Phi (TGP) fraternity, one of the country’s biggest fraternities, on Sunday said it is mobilizing its millions of members nationwide to help the government fight corruption and criminality.
Assembling for the group’s 46th founding anniversary at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, about 12,000 TGP chapter leaders and key members pledged to abide by a recently passed resolution to consolidate all members and step up the fraternity’s advocacy against graft, lawlessness and environmental destruction.
“We are against corruption, violence and environmental desecration, which are now the most pressing issues and concerns confronting the country. TGP is stepping up to the plate to help the government stem the upsurge of graft in the barangay [village]and even the top echelons of power,” Edgar Lopez, Tau Gamma national leader, said.
Lopez noted that this year’s anniversary theme “Fulfilling our Historical Mission in the Midst of Challenges” manifests their consistent advocacy of good governance, environmental protection and awareness, people’s participation in governance and efficient delivery of basic services for the people.
“Crime and corruption start from the most basic unit of our society which is the barangay. TGP with more than 80 percent penetration of barangay nationwide is out to make a difference by helping government’s daang matuwid [straight path]thrust by nipping lawlessness in the bud by working our way up to both the private sector and the government,” he said.
Ralph Barin, another top TGP leader, said the consolidation of all chapters in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao “will definitely bring TGP’s fight against crime and corruption to a much higher level.”
“The main purpose of this consolidation is to solidify Triskelions’ condemnation of any kind of corruption, using influence to enrich oneself while in government like what some of our leaders in government are doing. We are making a stand to fully support at all costs a leadership that will ensure daang matuwid and matinong pamamahala [Good Governance] leading to better lives for our countrymen currently living in poverty,” Barin added.
Some ranking TGP members and celebrities who attended the event included Negros Oriental Rep. Pryde Henry Teves, Catanduanes Vice Governor Bong Teves, National Liga ng mga Barangay Secretary General Lorenzo Zuñiga Jr.; and singer-rapper Basilio. Most of those who attended the event were wearing shirts with the words “Tau Gamma Phi for Good Governance, No to Corruption,” “Galit Kami sa Magnanakaw [We Hate Thieves],” and “God Hates Thieves and Plunderers” printed on them.
In their manifesto, the TGP said they believe that good governance is necessary to provide “effective basic services in education, health, housing and livelihood for the Filipino family.”
“We also believe that good governance is not the sole responsibility of the government but that it is also the responsibility of and requires the participation and cooperation of all sectors of society to include civil society organizations [and]civic groups in the private and the government sector,” it said.
“We oppose and condemn any form of corruption, and enrichment through abuse of authority being done by some of our elected officials in government. We also believe the continued strengthening of mechanisms and processes to promote and ensure transparency and accountability for all government officials,” the group added.
The fraternity was established by students of the University of the Philippines on October 4, 1968. It is reputedly the biggest and most cohesive fraternity in the Philippines and boasts of more than a million members worldwide.