Solon calls for 1-year suspension of cadet recruitment in PMA
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) should suspend its recruitment of cadets for at least a year after an internal military report bared 27 more cases of “maltreatment” in the country’s premier military school, Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said Wednesday.
The party-list representative, a vice chairman of the House committee on justice, also said the findings of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was “clear proof” of “systemic, grave, and moral flaws in the PMA.”
“Klarong-klaro, mas maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na may malaking mali at problema sa loob ng PMA na dapat itama agad ngayon (It’s clear as day that there’s an enormous problem inside the PMA which we need to address now),” the ranking solon said.
Garbin said the academy should temporarily stop recruiting new cadets until the AFP could “reasonably assure all parents and aspirants of their safety and security.”
“I believe enforcing military justice and military law includes cleaning up the PMA. Civilian oversight of this cleansing is necessary and this Congress can do on behalf of the parents, families, and friends of PMA cadets,” the lawmaker added.
INQUIRER.net reported on Wednesday a confidential report completed in late September which revealed that 52 cadets have been moved to confinement pending investigation on at least 27 cases of alleged maltreatment in PMA.
The Department of Tactical Officers in the Baguio City-based military school is also investigating the 52 cadets composed of 38 3rd Class cadets (sophomore), seven 2nd Class cadets (junior), and seven 1st Class cadets (senior), according to the report.
The report also bared that 22 4th Class cadets (freshmen) have been in various hospitals for alleged maltreatment.
Last Sept. 18, 20-year-old PMA freshman cadet Darwin Dormitorio died due to hazing after he was reportedly beaten up by fellow cadets because of missing combat boots. Seven senior cadets, two tactical officers, and three military doctors have been charged with hazing, murder and torture over his death.
Top PMA officials led by its superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista resigned after Dormitorio’s fatal hazing. /je
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