Abuse, maltreatment have no place in PMA, AFP chief tells cadets
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — A culture of cruelty is not tolerated in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Noel Clement told cadets Tuesday.
Speaking at the turnover of PMA leadership two weeks after the death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio due to hazing, the AFP chief said that “abuse and maltreatment have no place in the academy and in the armed forces at large.”
“We do not condone the use of sheer wanton violence in any way, shape or form,” he said.
Dormitorio’s death at the hands of his own comrades and the unspoken hazing tradition within the institution has brought public attention to the PMA.
As the investigation remains underway, the country’s premier military school promised to initiate reforms in its policies.
Clement called on the cadets to speak up against wrongdoings in the academy.
“Do not be afraid to speak in the midst of injustice, just like the honor code: you do not lie, cheat, steal nor tolerate among you those who do. I encourage you to also adopt a code of leadership, that you do not maltreat nor tolerate among yourselves those who do,” he said.
He also praised outgoing PMA superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista and commandant of cadets Brig. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, who resigned last week by virtue of command responsibility.
Clement said both officers were at the peak of their careers and yet they had decided to voluntarily step down and take the high ground of taking full command responsibility.
The two senior officers were replaced by Rear Adm. Allan Cusi and Brig. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.
“Our new commandant of cadets as well as our new superintendent has declared ‘war on hazing’ and together, we will definitely win this fight,” Clement said.
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