Recto: PMA cadets should not quit because of health concerns, death
MANILA, Philippines — If Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets were to drop out, it should be of their own decision and not because of health concerns or death, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said Tuesday.
“If they will have to drop out, then it must be on their own steam, and not on a stretcher out of a hospital or morgue. The PMA’s grief for losing one of its own should be translated into justice it must relentlessly pursue,” Recto said in a statement.
PMA cadet Darwin Dormitorio recently died of a heart attack after internal bleeding apparently caused by “blunt force trauma.”
Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista, who stepped down as PMA Superintendent Tuesday, confirmed that Dormitorio’s autopsy showed that he had died of hazing.
Recto pointed out that PMA cadets are considered as “Iskolars ng Bayan” whose studies are shouldered by taxpayers, with P2.9 million needed to produce one graduate.
“In fact, on a per student subsidy, they occupy the top tier in the country’s million-plus public college student population,” Recto said.
“Using the previous four years’ appropriations and reported number of cadets admitted, the cost of producing one PMA graduate is about P2.982 million,” he added.
Recto added it is six times more expensive to produce one PMA graduate than to produce a University of the Philippines (UP) graduate which would only cost P507,000.
“Compare this to the P507,000 to produce a UP graduate of a four-year course. (This is based on the UP System budget less the appropriations for PGH [Philippine General Hospital], which is a UP unit),” Recto said.
“It is six times more expensive to produce one commissioned officer out of The Long Gray Line in Baguio than to produce one scientist out of the picket lines of Diliman,” he continued. /muf
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