Alphans all over the world - unite!
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Brother Bocari Riga, Omicron '71, passed away this morning. His body lies in state at the Golden Mosque, Quiapo, Metro Manila. He will be buried also today in accordance with Islamic tradition. He is survived by his wife, Sister Ruby Riga, and by their children and grandchildren.
I believe and I maintain that Alpha Sigma Phi Philippines is and has always been at the heart of the peace process in the country because we exemplify in our daily life the genuine possibility of true peace--the obligation to tell the truth, the responsibility to radiate love and to honor the principle of equality. This is the only organization in the Philippines, a fraternity no less, where members, Muslims and Christians alike, call and address each other as "Brother" and "Sister".
Brother Bocari, since I came to know him personally in the '70s, is one of those who made this possible. He supported all our efforts to strengthen the organization. He gave all that he had to Alpha Sigma Phi. He organized the reception of Brother Richard Gibbs, former Grand Senior President of ASP USA, when he first came to the Philippines and cemented our ties with that organization. His constant presence in organizational affairs gave him a unique perspective in the workings of our fraternity. Alpha Sigma Phi Philippines justly honored his contributions by electing him twice as National President.
His love for Alpha Sigma Phi was total, constant, persistent, unyielding. While on several occasions misconstrued, his behavior often bore unintended but positive consequences. In the Jolo convention, for instance, he refused to enter the convention hall, but worked behind the scenes to press for his views. The negotiations to break the impasse resulted in the crafting of the Jolo Accord which sums up our reasons for being, and by the signatures of all those in attendance, a renewed commitment to the ideals that brought us together irrespective of tribal origins, religions, political persuasions, gender, economic status, etc. I credit Brother Bocari's influence for this incidental but far-reaching achievement.
Brother Bocari, wherever you are, we salute you. It is my fervent hope that when we remember you in the annals of the history of Alpha Sigma Phi Philippines, we will remember you as a steadfast leader who lived the virtues as well as all the possibilities of everything that is stated in the Jolo Accord.
Brother Sam Matunog, Beta '74