AFP appeals to public to stop spreading PMA hazing videos
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Wednesday appealed to the public to stop further spreading the viral hazing videos taken inside the Philippine Military Academy.
The videos, which were filmed in 2017 and 2018, started circulating online this week. It comes a month after the death of freshman cadet Darwin Dormitorio who died from the abuse of his seniors.
“We appeal to the public to stop spreading the video. No one benefits from it. Both the Academy and the Dormitorio family have been severely battered with the stories that came out in the news,” said AFP spokesperspn Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo in a statement.
“Showing videos of the said kind will only add insult to injury. Let us allow the family and the PMA to heal and the Corps of Cadets to learn from its mistake and move on,” he said.
Five of the cadets responsible for the beatings in the video have been placed into a holding area this week for investigation. One was already discharged last year due to an Honor Code violation.
While the videos confirm that maltreatment happens on the campus, Arevalo emphasized that it is not tolerated.
“Much as we mourn his death, we maintain that these cases do not represent the entire PMA training. And maltreatment is neither sanctioned nor tolerated in PMA,” he said.
Before the videos went viral, the PMA had been investigating at least 27 other cases of alleged maltreatment, which were discovered only after Dormitorio’s death, according to an investigation conducted by the AFP’s Inspector General.
Since Dormitorio’s death, the first in the PMA after 18 years, the top military school has launched a thorough review of its policies and initiated reforms to prevent the incident from happening again.
Criminal charges have also been filed to those found directly responsible to the cadet’s death.
“The PMA has shown that she is serious and sincere with the drive to eradicate maltreatment. Through the help of PMA authorities, cases have been filed,” Arevalo said.
He also called for support to the embattled PMA as it tries to get back on its feet.
“We declare that the PMA is not a perfect organization. She has in the ranks of the Cadet Corps misfits who need to be dealt with accordingly. Let’s allow to prosper the measures that have already been instituted and the changes that continue to be implemented to address the problem,” he said. /je
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