Swimming teachers sacked over drowning of PMA cadet
BAGUIO CITY –– Two swimming instructors have been sacked because of the Nov. 8 drowning of Cadet Fourth Class Mario Telan Jr, the Philippine Military Academy announced on Friday.
Robert Bete, a PMA faculty member, and Antonio Catalan, who handled the fundamentals of swimming subject for freshmen cadets, “were found negligent,” and were separated from the military school for gross neglect of duty, said Navy Captain Cheryl Tindog.
A team from the Philippine Navy Special Operations Group has been tasked to oversee “all water-borne training activities” of the cadets, she said.
Swimming lessons have been suspended pending their arrival and the installation of safety measures at the academy pool.
Aside from his dismissal, Bete was relieved of his service eligibility, lost his retirement benefits, and is perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
Catalan, a job-order employee, has been “immediately terminated by PMA,” and will face the same sanctions as Bete.
PMA is still reviewing sanctions to be enforced against two of Telan’s classmates who failed to account for his whereabouts.
Telan took part in a class swimming trial. He was found dead on the pool hours later. Security cameras show none of the cadets nor the instructors realized he had not surfaced after he leapt into the water with his schoolmates.
The infractions or lapses of the Chief of PMA’s Sports and Physical Development Unit arei also being reviewed.
Telan was buried on Nov. 16 in Cagayan province,/lzb
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