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PMA to kick out cadet’s abusers

Cadets directly involved in the death of Cdt. 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio will be expelled from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Noel Clement said on Monday.

Cadets march during the change of command ceremony rites on Tuesday. PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA

The discharge orders were yet to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, Clement said. These cadets have been placed under the custody of the academy.

Clement noted that the Philippine National Police is preparing criminal charges against the suspects.

“In the meantime, they will be under the supervision of PMA,” he told reporters after the change of command ceremony at the academy.

Former PMA superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista and Brig. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, former commandant of the Cadet Corps, will be temporarily placed under the Office of the Chief of Staff. The two resigned days after the death of Dormitorio.

Armed Forces Chief Noel Clement during the change of command ceremony at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA

Clement said Inspector General Lt. Gen. Antonio Ramon Lim, who was tasked to investigate the incident, had come up with a report. But the military chief did not disclose Lim’s findings, only saying that the latter recommended “changes” in the academy, including improving the implementation of the honor code system and changing the training procedures for the Cadet Corps.

“[This is] to ensure that [we] produce better leaders and that the incident will not happen again,” he said.

Clement said he ordered Rear Adm. Allan Ferdinand Cusi, the new PMA superintendent, to enforce the changes.

Cusi, who formally succeeded Evangelista on Tuesday, asked the PMA alumni community to help fix the problems in the academy.

He stressed that waging war against hazing and all forms of maltreatment is not enough.

“To those of you who have previously been maltreated, to those of you who have previously perpetrated and committed hazing, to those of you who choose to turn a blind eye and remain complicit while others are being maltreated, I appeal to you, I appeal to your better judgment, please help us,” Cusi said.

“It takes a village to raise a child, they say; unless we, the PMA alumni, refuse to accept this responsibility, this burden, I’m afraid all is lost. The challenge of eradicating maltreatment in the academy is a burden that I alone cannot bear,” he added.

Cusi called on cadets to become “warriors of the motherland of the motherland with a heart and soul.”

“The key is not talent, not brute force, but self-discipline,” he added.

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