CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Yet another legislator called for an end to hazing at the country’s premiere military school, Philippine Military Academy (PMA), following the death of Cadet Darwin Dormitorio, the first casualty of hazing in PMA in 18 years.
Like other legislators who spoke before him, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rodriguez called for the head of Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista, PMA superintendent. “I’m holding him responsible,” said Rodriguez.
Dormitorio died last Sept. 18. A police investigation showed his fatal injuries were due to hazing, which is already outlawed.
Rodriguez said the hazing tradition at the PMA should be stopped for good. Subjecting plebes to humiliation and pain doesn’t make better soldiers, he said.
Dormitorio had been hospitalized thrice before he died of his injuries. His elder brother, Dexter, was able to visit him at the PMA hospital on August 25, prompted by a letter that Dormitorio wrote on yellow pad paper and sent for him by fellow cadets.
In the letter, Dormitorio kept the ordeal from his family, simply assuring them he was fine, although he mentioned about him being confined in the PMA hospital.
“I hope this message would reach you,” Dormitorio wrote to his parents, probably third week of August as he mentioned about a possible discharge from the hospital on Aug. 26 or later.
Rodriguez said he was furious at the inability of the PMA administration to inform Dormitorio’s parents.
“Why didn’t they inform Darwin’s parents?” Rodriguez said. He said he believed what Dormitorio went through was a “continuing intiation considering the fact that he was admitted to the hospital thrice.”
Rodriguez said a thorough investigation should be made by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which is independent of the military establishment.
The PMA is run by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
With the NBI at the helm, according to Rodriguez, the public is assured that there will be no bias or cover-up.
He said he did not believe that only three upperclass cadets were involved in the hazing of Dormitorio.
Rodriguez added that even PMA officials may have been involved, in some way through a coverup.
Rodriguez filed a resolution last Friday, Sept. 20, for a House investigation./TSB
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