UPDATED TIMELINE: More details of Dormitorio’s ‘hell’ days at PMA
MANILA, Philippines — Police have released a more detailed description of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio’s maltreatment allegedly in the hands of his upperclassmen at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
In the updated timeline of the 20-year-old PMA freshman’s ordeal, police said he endured various abuse such as his hands being tied while his head was covered with a thick plastic sprayed with rubbing alcohol.
Last Friday, the police made public an initial chronology of events that transpired hours prior to Dormitorio’s death on September 18. But in a press briefing on Monday, police disclosed that upperclassmen have been allegedly mistreating Dormitorio since August.
Investigation showed that Dormitorio, a son of a retired Army colonel, suffered at least eight incidents of maltreatment allegedly by his upperclassmen – a series of terrifying instances that police described as “hell” for the young cadet. Dormitorio was also hospitalized four times, police noted.
Below is the updated timeline on Dormitorio’s ordeal as presented by the police:
Cadets 3rd Class (2nd year) Felix Lumbag, Shalimar Imperial, and John Vincent Manalo allegedly ordered Dormitorio to do some exercises inside Dormitorio’s room – Room 209.
Imperial and Lumbag allegedly punched and kicked him for spending P2,000 of his P4,000-monthly stipend “which is supposed to be used for their needs.”
The maltreatment lasted for more than 20 minutes. Dormitorio fell down many times during this occasion.
Dormitorio was admitted to the PMA station hospital and was diagnosed with multiple soft tissue hematoma in his abdomen and back. He also had partial-thickness burns on his left shoulder. He stayed at the infirmary for eight days.
Imperial allegedly hit Dormitorio on the face, causing the nose of the freshman to bleed profusely.
Dormitorio was again brought to the hospital where he was diagnosed with respiratory tract infection and soft tissue contusion in the chest area.
His roommates brought Dormitorio to the hospital for having “toothache” or “swollen jaw.”
Imperial, Lumbag, and Manalo allegedly covered Dormitorio’s face with a dress cap sprayed with rubbing alcohol.
They also allegedly tied his hands behind his nape while a soft broom (walis tambo) was inserted between his arms and neck, which supposedly made it hard for him to breathe.
As Dormitorio was lying down, the cadets allegedly held his upper body and legs to prevent him from moving.
“Dormitorio was shouting continuously in pain and was suffocating,” police said in its presentation.
This prompted Manalo to caution other cadets to release Dormitorio since he was screaming too loud.
But the cadets still continued and only stopped when the first witness, a first-class cadet (fourth year), ordered them to do so on seeing them through the room’s window while he was on the ledge.
This witness ordered the group to be “off-limits” from Dormitorio days after.
Dormitorio joined the corps duty exercise at the Borromeo field for about 40 minutes. He was able to perform all the Army exercises.
At the Mayo Hall Barracks, Cadet 1st Class Axl Rey Sanopao shouted “Dormitorio Out!” thrice, calling the younger cadet.
From Room 209, Dormitorio immediately reported to Sanopao, who ordered him to look for the combat boots entrusted him around a week ago. Sanopao got angry when Dormitorio could not find the boots.
Upon the order of Sanopao, Dormitorio summoned Imperial and Lumbag from their room. The three entered the room of Sanopao, then went out and proceeded to the room of Lumbag and Imperial, where Dormitorio was again allegedly maltreated.
Sanopao again called out Dormitorio from the room of Lumbag and Imperial. He was “shivering and in pain.”
In the hallway, Sanopao allegedly told Dormitorio: “Bakit parang cool na cool ka?”
He then allegedly ordered the plebe to perform squat thrusts. But because the freshman cadet was still purportedly reeling from pain, Dormitorio was only able to do five repetitions.
Col. Allen Rae Co, Baguio City police chief, quoted Dormitorio as saying to Sanopao during that time: “Sir, hindi ko na po kaya talaga. Medyo masakit na po talaga (Sir, I cannot do it anymore. It already hurts).”
A second witness, a first-class cadet, saw Dormitorio and asked what had happened to him. Dormitorio told him he was not feeling well.
The upperclassman then told Dormitorio to go to the room of his squad leader Cadet 2nd Class (third year) Christian Zacarias. Dormitorio slept on the bed of Zacarias. In the PMA, to sleep on the bed of an upperclassman is considered a serious offense.
Three witnesses, who are all second-class cadets, and Zacarias arrived at their room. Zacarias repeatedly asked Dormitorio why he was sleeping on his bunks but Dormitorio did not answer. Zacarias pulled Dormitorio out of his bed.
“However, he (Dormitorio) cannot stand and [was] noticeably in pain as he was holding on to his stomach. Cadet Dormitorio fell on the floor,” according to police.
Zacarias allegedly kicked Dormitorio hard at least five times on the right side of his body while he was lying on the floor. He then reported to the Echo Company’s commander that Dormitorio had to be brought to the hospital.
An ambulance arrived at the barracks and brought Dormitorio to the hospital.
Dormitorio, who has been discharged from the hospital after being diagnosed with urinary tract infection, returned to his room. His roommates observed he was “weak” and “pale.”
Cadet 3rd Class Rey David John Volante noticed Dormitorio sitting on the floor.
Volante, who was wearing dress shoes, “slightly kicked” Dormitorio on his forehead “to make him move faster.”
According to police, Volante was unaware that Dormitorio was in sick-in-quarters status.
During the evening call to quarters, Dormitorio remained inside his room with two fourth-class cadets.
Lumbag and Imperial showed a video of Dormitorio to a fourth-class cadet inside their room and portrayed Dormitorio as malingering or showing exaggerated illness to escape duty or work.
Dormitorio reported to a company tactical officer with another fourth-class cadet.
Dormitorio vomited in the toilet. The second witness asked him what happened. Dormitorio said he had been maltreated by Lumbag and Imperial.
As he returned to his room, Dormitorio was informed by a cadet of the video shown to him by Lumbag and Imperial and warned that he would be reported for malingering.
A third-class cadet, Dormitorio’s squad leader, saw him in the hallway wearing his study uniform. Dormitorio was advised to change into a general athletic uniform and went back to his room.
In the hallway, Sanopao showed Dormitorio to second-class and third-class cadets and told them he was wearing an improper uniform.
During that time, Dormitorio was observed to be “not moving like a normal plebe, who is supposed to be quick and in a rush in the presence of an upperclassman.”
A fourth-class cadet and Cadet 3rd Class Julius Carlo Tadena entered Dormitorio’s room. Tadena allegedly tasered an unidentified fourth-class cadet who was in Room 209 and also ordered the fourth-class cadet who accompanied him in the room to perform exercises.
Dormitorio arrived in Room 209. Tadena again allegedly tasered the unidentified fourth-class cadet before doing the same to Dormitorio’s genitals.
Police said Tadena told them they “shouted like girls” when they were tasered, making them “faggots.”
Dormitorio and the two cadets reported to a second-class cadet in his room. The upperclassman only gave them a few reminders.
Now back in his room, Dormitorio complained of stomach pain. He said he could not lie down and that there seems to be no comfortable position for him.
Dormitorio vomited again. His roommate called Zacarias inside their room. Zacarias gave Dormitorio medicine, bread, and water.
A lieutenant checked Room 209 and ordered Zacarias to leave the room. Zacarias, however, returned after a few minutes and again gave Dormitorio water and crackers.
Dormitorio vomited two more times.
Dormitorio was seen kneeling with his head resting on the floor.
Dormitorio was seen sitting on the floor. His back and head rested against a study table.
A third-class duty sentinel cadet entered Room 209. The two roommates of Dormitorio stood up, but he remained sitting on the floor and did not move.
The duty sentinel commanded one of the cadets to wake Dormitorio.
“But he was unresponsive. He had no pulse and was not breathing,” police said.
Other cadets arrived at Room 209 to see the condition of Dormitorio.
An ambulance arrived at the barracks and brought Dormitorio to the PMA station hospital.
Dormitorio arrived at the hospital where medical personnel tried to revive him.
Dormitorio was pronounced dead.
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