(July 08, 2020) – Three army officers and three cadets of the country’s military academy were ordered arrested over the death of a plebe due to hazing last year.
Baguio Regional Trial Court Branch 5 presiding judge Maria Ligaya Itliong-Rivera issued arrest warrants on Tuesday against Lt. Col. Caesar Candelaria, Major Maria Ofelia Beloy, and Capt. Flor Apple Apostol of Fort del Pilar Station Hospital in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). The bail for the three army officers was set at 200,000 pesos each.
Also included in the warrant were cadets–Julius Tadena, Shalimar Imperial Kr., and Felix Lumbag Jr., with no bail fixed.
They were all charged for the murder of 20-year old fourth class cadet Darwin Dormitorio, who died after going through hazing activities in the PMA on September 18, 2019. They also face charges for violating the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018.
The three cadets beat Dormitorio, for losing the boots of one of the upperclassman. Later reports revealed his genitals were electrocuted by a taser flashlight. He was rushed to the hospital after losing consciousness a day before he died. The three army officers in the hospital then diagnosed Dormitorio with a urinary tract infection and discharged him after eight hours
Autopsy showed Dormitorio’s death was caused by internal bleeding, due to several hits in the abdomen.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has yet to receive a copy of the warrant, but will relay the matter to the military judge advocate general.
Maj. Gen. Edgardo Arevalo, spokesperson for the AFP, said the cadets have been arraigned and are now facing trial before a general court martial.
“We once more commit to the court that we will cooperate and, when needed, assist in the swift dispensation of justice. We owe it to the people–especially to the parents of the late Cadet Darwin Dormitorio—and the community of PMA Alumni,” Arevalo said in a statement. (Reports from Pat Mangune | Katrina Elaine Alba/ AGD)
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