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BAGUIO CITY – More than twenty personnel and cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) are now being investigated by combined police and military authorities for their alleged indirect and direct involvement in the mauling of a 20-year old cadet that caused his death Tuesday dawn.
PMA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista disclosed that based on the results of the post mortem examination conducted on the victim, the cause of his death was due to alleged blunt force trauma as an offshoot of his reportedly being mauled or maltreated by his fellow cadets.
He claimed that of the more than 20 individuals being investigated, 3 of them are considered to be persons of interests who have direct involvement in the alleged mauling of the victim while the rest are possible witnesses among other purposes, needed for their testimonies.
Earlier, cadet fourth-class Darwin Dormitorio, 20, single, a son of a retired military official, who hails from Cagayan de Oro City, died due to internal hemorrhage as a result of the injuries inflicted on his body by the perpetrators of the mauling incident.
Of the 3 persons of interest, 1 of them is a first-class or graduating cadet while the two others are third-class cadets and that all of them are now in restrictive confinement in the Academy’s stockade awaiting the outcome of the ongoing investigation on the alleged hazing incident that transpired inside the premier military school after 18 years.
Among the others who are also being investigated include the tactical officer, the sentinel, the victim’s squad leader and squad mates and the physician that initially diagnosed the victim to be suffering from urinary track infection (UTI) and advised him to be on sick bay.
“PMA will file appropriate administrative charges and shall apply sanctions to all those who will be found responsible for the death of cadet Dormitorio.,” Evangelista stressed.
While the criminal processes will take time, he pointed out that PMA is committed to be fervent and thorough in ascertaining that justice will be achieved, especially for the victim and his relatives, through the assistance of the Philippine national Police.
According to him, cadetship in PMA entails the willfull acceptance of the highest human traditions of living an honorable life, sacrificing oneself for others in the country, and living the values of courage, integrity and loyalty.
The PMA asserted that the Academy did not only lose a cadet but PMA also lost her sons, one son passed away and her other sons may have lost their way.
He stated that part of the interventions that the PMA has instituted as a result of the tragic incident is that the monitoring and reporting system for the overall well-being of every cadet shall be enhanced for the benefit of everyone aside from working out the involvement of the cadets themselves in such issues and concerns.
Evangelista denied reports that the death of two cadets in 2016 and 2017 were due to hazing, saying that investigation showed the total reversal of sorts.
Based on PMA records, the last reported hazing incident that happened inside the Academy was in 2001.
By Dexter A. See