Solon wants PMA to suspend cadet recruitment for 1 year

MANILA — A party-list lawmaker on Wednesday said the Philippine Military Academy should temporarily stop its recruitment of new cadets for at least a year and undergo a complete overhaul of the country’s premier military school.

AKO BICOL Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. made the call after it was reported that at least 27 more cases of alleged maltreatment are being investigated at the PMA.

Garbin noted that these alleged maltreatment cases are clear proof that “systemic, grave, and moral flaws” exist in the institution.

“Klarong-klaro, mas maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na may malaking mali at problema sa loob ng PMA na dapat itama agad ngayon. Huwag ipagpaliban. Gawin ngayon (It is very clear, as clear as day, that there is a huge flaw existing in PMA that needs to be corrected. Let’s not wait any longer and act on the issue),” he said.

“Because the PMA has not yet learned lessons about the abhorrence of hazing, the academy should temporarily stop recruiting new cadets until such time the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) can reasonably assure all parents and aspirants of their safety and security,” he added.

The lawmaker said during the temporary suspension of recruitment, the AFP must overhaul the PMA of its “misguided notion” that hazing is necessary to mold good defenders of the people and the Constitution.

“The AFP’s Judge Advocate General should lead the cleansing of the PMA. I believe enforcing military justice and military law includes cleaning up the PMA. Civilian oversight of this cleansing is necessary and this Congress can do on behalf of the parents, families, and friends of PMA cadets,” Garbin added.  Filane Mikee Cervantes / PNA –