2 more tagged in PMA cadet’s death

BAGUIO CITY— Police will be filing criminal charges against two more cadets in the maltreatment of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet fourth class Darwin Dormitorio which led to his death, the chief of the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR) said on Thursday.

In a press conference at the city police headquarters, Brig. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson said Police Col. Allen Rae Co, Baguio police director, will now be filing cases against five persons.

He, however, said they will only reveal the names of the two more suspects, both third class PMA cadets, upon completion of the probe or during the filing of the case on Friday or Monday.

The two cadets are now at the PMA holding area under stockade confinement, separate from the first three suspects, Dickson said.

Dickson said the suspects will be transferred to police custody upon the court’s issuance of a warrant of arrest.

Meanwhile, he said a tactical flashlight with a taser, which might have been used to inflict injuries, has also been turned over by the PMA authorities to the investigating team.

He suspected that the gadget might have been used on Dormitorio when he was left alone after his discharge from the hospital on September 17.

Dormitorio was pronounced dead less than two hours after he was rushed to the PMA Station Hospital around 4 a.m. on September 18.

Dickson said the taser was consistent with the result of the autopsy on Dormitorio’s body.

Dickson said the taser could have been sneaked into the barracks since it is not part of the things that cadets are provided with.

“Personal na gamit ito. I think it is not allowed but siguro may mga ingenuity na naiisip, yun, nakakuha sila ng ganito (This is personal stuff. I think this is not allowed but maybe there are those who are using their ingenuity and are thinking things that is why they (PMA administration) found this,” he said.

The PNP medico-legal officer earlier said Dormitorio bore injuries on his private part and on his navel area.

Dickson said while they are near in closing the Dormitorio case probe, the possibility of more persons being charged remains high.

The first three suspects who will be charged with the violation of the Anti-Hazing law are Cadet First Class Axl Rey Sanupao, Cadets Third Class Shalimar Imperial and Felix Lumbag. They have also been ordered administratively discharged from the academy.

Dickson assured that they are preparing an airtight case against the suspects.

On the other hand, Co said as early as August 20, Dormitorio was reported to have already sustained injuries, which prompted the PMA administration to investigate the matter.

The investigation led to a PMA’s order on a cadet for a one-year suspension.

“The first time he was hospitalized was on August 20, the PMA already conducted an investigation regarding that matter. As a matter of fact, one of our suspects is already recommended for one-year suspension but before it was enforced, he was declared off-limits to plebes especially to Dormitorio but he violated said provision,” Co said. Liza Agoot and Dionisio Dennis, Jr / PNA – northboundasia.com