BAGUIO CITY – Seven cadets and five personnel of the Philippine Military Academy were criminally charged before the city prosecutor’s office by the family members of cadet fourth-class Darwin Dormitorio following his untimely demise due to alleged maltreatment.
In 34-page complaint, Dexter Dormitorio, the older brother of the young cadet, charged Cadet 3rd Class Cadets Shalimar Imperial, Felix M. Lumbag Jr., John Vincent Manalo, Julius Carlo Tadena, Rey David John Volante; 2nd Class Cadet Christian Zacarias and 1st Class Cadet Axl Ret Sanopa for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law, the Anti-Torture Law and murder while PMA tactical officers Maj. Rex Bolo and Capt. Jeffrey Batistina were charged as accomplished to the crime.
Further, charged for dereliction of duty were Lt. Col. Cesar Candelaria, chief of the PMA Station hospital, and attending physicians Maj. Ofelia Beloy and Capt. Flor Appel Apostol.
“I would like to tell my brother, this is just Part I of the battle. We will not stop hanggang hindi napapanagot ang lahat,” Dormitorio said. He stressed that it is their family’s wish that it will be an airtight case.
On September 18, 2019, cadet Dormitorio was declared dead on arrival by attending physicians at the PMA station hospital where he was rushed after he was found by his roommates to be unconscious following a series of alleged maltreatment activities that were done on him by his upperclassmen.
From August 20,27, 2019, cadet Dormitorio was first admitted in the PMA hospital after being maltreated by his upperclassmen wherein he was punched in the different parts of his body while his arms were raised and that he was confined in the hospital for more than a week.
After being released from the hospital, the cadet was allegedly punched on the face by cadet Imperial that caused his nose to continuously bleed.
The complaint was substantiated by affidavits of some 14 cadets and 3 PMA personnel who witnessed how Dormitorio was maltreated by his upperclassmen that caused him to be helpless in some instances.
Initially, Dormitorio was allegedly punished by his upperclassmen after he reportedly spent more than half of his allowance for food which is a violation of reported internal rules and regulations inside the Academy while in the second instance, he was again maltreated after having lost track of the combat boost of cadet Sanupao which was allegedly entrusted to him for safekeeping.
The city prosecutor’s office will form a panel of prosecutors composed of either 3 or 5 veteran prosecutors who will investigate the filed complaint to ascertain whether the same has probable cause.
PMA authorities expressed their readiness to turnover to the Baguio City jail the 7 cadets who are still restrictive confinement inside the stockade once the city prosecutor’s will be able to find probable cause in the complaint and that a warrant of arrest shall have been issued by the court against them.
By Dexter A. See