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GENERAL NOT CLEARED YET

Recall Bacarro promotion, hazing victim’s kin plead

/ 05:44 AM July 03, 2021
Major General Bartolome Bacarro, new commander of the AFP's Southern Luzon Command (Solcom). Photo from Philippine Army

Major General Bartolome Bacarro, new commander of the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command (Solcom). Photo from Philippine Army

Maj. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro should not be promoted or appointed to a new post as he is not yet off the hook in the death of a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet from hazing.

“Mr. Bacarro has not been cleared yet from the criminal charges because the Baguio City prosecutor’s dismissal of the cases has been elevated by [Darwin] Dormitorio’s parents to the [justice] secretary for his review. The appeal is still pending resolution up to now,” Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said on Friday.

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He added: “In view of this pendency, General Bacarro should not be promoted or appointed as commander of the military’s [Southern Luzon Command or SolCom] yet, pending resolution of his cases by the DOJ (Department of Justice) secretary.”

Rodriguez was referring to the hazing incident that led to the death of PMA cadet Darwin Dormitorio, whose family is among Rodriguez’s constituents in his district.

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Bacarro, who was then the PMA commandant of cadets, was one of two officials charged with Dormitorio’s death.

But Bacarro was named to take over the SolCom on July 26 upon Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.’s retirement from the military. Rodriguez has appealed to President Duterte to recall Bacarro’s appointment.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has defended Bacarro’s designation, saying the military general was already cleared of criminal charges in Dormitorio’s death.

“I am appealing to the President to strongly uphold the antihazing law to stop once and for all hazing, which has caused numerous senseless deaths of the Filipino youth by not rewarding those who criminally and deliberately allowed hazing in their institutions like the PMA,” Rodriguez said.

He said the Dormitorio family was saddened by Bacarro’s promotion “while they are still waiting for justice to be served.”

“His promotion shows utter disregard for his serious responsibility, accountability,and failure as commandant of cadets when 4CL Darwin Dormitorio died of hazing in PMA,” Rodriguez quoted the family as saying.

The Dormitorios added: “A petition for review for his criminal liability is still pending before the DOJ. While we are still waiting for the DOJ’s decision, we believe that until it is resolved with finality, his rise in the ranks should be put on hold.” —JULIE M. AURELIO

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TAGS: Bacarro, hazing, PMA, promotion
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