MANILA — The Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday lauded the decision of two ranking officials of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to quit their posts following the death of Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio and the hospitalization of two other cadets due to alleged maltreatment.
“The DND commends the decision of Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista and Brig. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro to resign from their respective positions as Superintendent and Commandant of Cadets of the Philippine Military Academy in light of recent events involving the institution,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement forwarded to reporters.
He was referring to the alleged death of Dormitorio due to maltreatment last Sept. 18, and the hospitalization of two others last September 17 and 21.
“By choosing this course of action, Lt. Gen. Evangelista and Brig. Gen. Bacarro have shown the hallmark of true leadership as espoused by the military profession and the principle of command responsibility. We wish both gentlemen the best in their future endeavors,” he added.
Earlier, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the military organization does not tolerate maltreatment at the PMA.
“Maltreatment or similar malpractices have no place in the modern, matured, and professional AFP,” he said. He added that infractions of stern regulations governing it and the policies banning it will be meted with the severest penalties — criminal, civil, and administrative.
The AFP and the PMA, he said, are pursuing all initiatives to eliminate maltreatment and other forms of abuses in the military.
“Violators are the exception in the Academy rather than the rule. And that of the erring cadets comprise the deviant behavior,” he added.
He said the AFP and PMA are both enraged by incidents like these and thus reiterate their strong and unequivocal positions condemning maltreatment. Priam Nepomuceno / PNA – northboundasia.com