Makati restaurant owner decries frat violence

Posted at 11/30/12 9:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The owner of a restaurant along Jupiter street in Makati has condemned fraternity violence after members of rival fraternities brawled inside his restaurant last Saturday.

Lex Ledesma, the owner of Whistlestop, told ABS-CBNnews.com that he has already met with the members of the fraternity and asked them to pay for damages amounting to P10,000.

“I asked only for actual physical damages which came out to P10,000. I didn’t ask for any moral damages,” he said.

“They committed to pay but haven’t yet,” he added.

Ledesma, in an open letter to fraternity members posted on his blog, said around 10 frat members ganged up on another member from a rival fraternity inside Whistlestop at around 3 a.m. Saturday.

Ledesma said closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras captured the incident, but he decided against “giving the CCTV footage to ABS-CBN to air on the news, where they show similar footage daily.”

The restaurant owner said he was “appalled” by the incident, which left the restaurant “in shambles.”

“[There were] broken bottles, smashed plates, glass everywhere, in fact, you even managed to somehow break a wood post at the center of the store. On top of that, all the people working there and eating there peacefully were traumatized by watching you maul this single defenseless opponent,” he wrote in his blog.

He also called on the fraternity to no longer visit his restaurants.

“If it wouldn’t be too much to ask I would also like to respectfully request that you and your group no longer frequent my restaurants. I am working as hard as I can to support myself and my family by running these establishments. I would prefer it if you find some other place to hang out as I’m sure you would understand,” he said.

Because of the incident, Ledesma is now mulling programs to end the culture of fraternity violence.

“More than addressing this specific crime, I’m trying to address the much bigger problem of frat violence as a whole,” he said.