After cadet’s death, PMA must be open to probe – Zubiri
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) should be open to investigation following the death of one of its cadets due to internal bleeding apparently caused by “blunt force trauma,” Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Sunday.
“The Academy must open themselves to investigation or they themselves will be subjects to harsh penalties under the new law we authored together with Sen. Ping Lacson last 17th Congress which was R.A. 11053 or the Strengthened Anti-Hazing Law,” Zubiri said in a statement.
Zubiri made the remark after PMA Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio died of hazing, the first such case in the academy in 18 years.
The senator lamented the incident, especially as it comes merely a year after the passage of the Anti-Hazing Act, which imposes harsher punishment on individuals involved in hazing.
“It seems fraternities haven’t learned their lessons. The young men who punched out the life of fellow cadet Darwin Dormitorio of Cagayan de Oro are deemed knowledgeable, disciplined and upright,” Zubiri said.
“Being cadets of the Philippine Military Academy, the country’s premier military school, they were expected to be models for other Filipino youth,” he added.
Zubiri said those involved in Dormitorio’s death “can’t be called fine officers and gentlemen as they exact obedience through fear, intimidation and physical pain.”
“By ganging up on their victim, these young men and their organization or fraternity have actually thrown out the values espoused by the PMA,” the senator said.
“It is distressing to repeat the process of seeking justice for hazing victims, yet, we must soldier on to protect our youth. We shall monitor how the Judiciary will do its share with R.A. No. 11053 as their tool,” he added.
The PMA earlier said it would file “appropriate charges and shall apply sanctions” to those found responsible for the young cadet’s death.
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