12 charged for death of PMA cadet

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    THE Baguio City Police yesterday filed criminal charges against seven cadets of the Philippine Military Academy, two PMA officers, and three medical staff members of the Fort Del Pilar Station Hospital (PMA hospital) in connection with the death of Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio last month.

    Police Col. Allen Rae Co, city police chief, said the charges filed at the Baguio City Prosecutors’ Office were violation of the Anti-Hazing Act of 1995, violation of the anti-torture law, murder, and dereliction of duty.

    Charged were Cadet First Class Axl Rey Sanopao; Cadet Second Class Christian Zacarias; Cadets Third Class Shalimar Imperial Jr., Felix Lumbag, Julius Carlo Tadena, Rey David John Volante, and John Vincent Manalo; Maj. Rex Bolo, senior tactical officer; Capt. Jeffrey Batistiana, tactical officer; Capt. Flor Apple Apostol, attending physician; Maj. Maria Ofelia Beloy, assisting physician; and Lt. Col. Cesar Candelaria, commanding officer of the PMA hospital.

    The seven cadets have been dismissed. Bolo, Batistiana, Apostol, Beloy, and Candelaria have been relieved.

    Dexter Dormitorio, Darwin’s brother, led the filing of the cases.

    Cadet Dormitorio, 20, suffered severe injuries to his internal organs after his upperclassmen took turns in beating him up, first on August 20, which led to his confinement from August 20 to 27.

    The beatings were repeated, which led to another confinement on September 5. Dormitorio was found unconscious in his barracks a day before he died on September 18.

    The seven upperclassmen, based on a police investigation report, wanted Dormitorio to quit from the academy after he identified to PMA investigators two upperclassmen who beat him up before he was confined on August 20 to 27.

    The other upperclassmen picked on Dormitorio because he was a “squealer,” said police.

    Aside from seven cadets who were charged, the PMA leadership has also dismissed for command responsibility Cadet Second Class Nickoel Termil, Dormitorio’s squad leader.

    Suspended were Cadets First Class Christian Correa, platoon leader, and Elbert Lucas, commanding officer.

    Dormitorio is a son of retired Army Col. Willy Dormitorio, a member of the PMA Class 1974, who opted for early retirement after he was identified as a member of the Reformed the Armed Forces Movement involved in failed coups in the 1980s.

    Lt. Gen Ronnie Evangelista, PMA superintendent; and Brig. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, the commandant of cadets, resigned from their respective posts after Dormitorio’s death.