Parents urge AFP to end hazing at PMA

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — An official of the Philippine Military Academy Parents’ Association (PMA-PA) in the Soccsksargen region on Thursday appealed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to put an end to hazing and other forms of violent initiations at the academy.

Willie Ramos, PMA-PA regional president, made the appeal as he confirmed that one of the two 4th class cadets confined at the AFP Medical Center in Quezon City due to alleged hazing is from the city.

Cadet Dwight Bentayo, who hails from Barangay Katangawan here, is under “intensive care and observation” at the hospital, along with cadet Orlino Abuel, according to Ramos.

Ramos’ son, Joshua Willie, and Bentayo were assigned in the same company.

A relative of Bentayo, who requested anonymity, said the cadet reportedly suffered serious internal injuries after getting heavy beating in the abdominal area.

The family, which includes several police officers here, has been closely coordinating with the AFP and PMA regarding the medical status of the cadet.

Ramos said the AFP should take decisive action to effectively stop hazing at the PMA as it has already cost a number of lives.

He cited the case of cadet Darwin Dormitorio, a classmate of Bentayo and Abuel, who died in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City on September 18 due to hazing injuries.

Ramos said authorities should make sure that all personalities involved in these incidents would answer for their actions and deliver proper justice to the victims.

“We’re hurting and at the same time worried about our children. As parents, we’re always thinking that they’re alright and now these things happen. Imagine, they will be staying there for four years,” he said in an interview.

He said they hope that the untimely death of the 20-year-old Dormitorio, who was from Cagayan de Oro City, would not be in vain and would result in “real changes” at the PMA.

Ramos warned that if similar cases occur in the future, it is possible that parents would have doubts about sending their children to the country’s premier military institution.

“We have a law on hazing and it should be properly implemented by the PMA,” he added. Richelyn Gubalani / PNA –