3 Cebuano cadets sue PNPA
Three police cadets from Cebu filed a damage suit against officials of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) for purportedly forcing them to leave the training school.
The petitioners requested the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City to order the respondents to jointly pay P500,000 in damages and to allow them to return to the PNPA which is based in Silang town, Cavite.
Assisted by their lawyer Christopher Ruiz, the petitioners said they were illegally dismissed from the academy after they momentarily stopped running during a series of rigid training inside PNPA last month.
They said they were grabbed and escorted away from the rest of their classmates and were forced to write their names as well as their signatures on a document which turned out to be a resignation letter.
“If they were not forcibly driven out from the camp, petitioners would not get out—an act which totally contradicted the allegations of lost of interest and/or lack of determination in proceeding with the program,” said Ruiz who represents Christopher Ruiz, 21; Kerbee Torrefiel, 21; and a 17-year-old female police aspirant.
Named respondents in the petition were Chief Supt. Noel Constantino, the PNPA director; Police Supt. Hordan Pacatiw, officer in charge of the academy; and cadet second class officer Bacay.
Last year, the petitioners filed an application to take the PNPA cadet admission test in Cebu. They all passed.
They later went to the PNPA to take the physical, medical, and dental examinations.
Last May 21, the petitioners, along with 345 other applicants, were admitted to the PNPA. They were provided with a monthly salary of P27,425.
After their oath-taking ceremony, the applicants were asked to perform a series of exercises under the heat of the sun to test their endurance.
The petitioners said the reception was traditionally regarded as the cadets “baptism of fire.”
They said they survived the “reception rites” because they were determined to pursue their dreams at the PNPA.
In the afternon of the same day, the petitioners were made to perform their first “road run” inside the academy.
While performing the activity, the petitioners decided to stop running due to “sudden dehydration, exhaustion, and fatigue.”
Upon Police Chief Supt. Constantino’s order, they said they were escorted out of the group by their senior cadets.
The petitioners were then subjected to a medical check-up before they were asked to write their names and signatures on a piece of document.
When they realized that the document was a resignation letter, the petitioners refused to sign it.
However, they said they were forced to affix their signatures on it due to “constant pressure, compulsion, and intimidation” by the respondents.
The following day, the petitioners received a copy of an order which stated that they have voluntarily resigned from the cadetship program and that they are barred from reappointment and/or readmission.
But the petitioners said they did not have any intention to resign from the program.
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