A BAGUIO City court on Wednesday ordered the transfer to the Baguio city jail of three Philippine Military Academy cadets charged in the fatal hazing last year of 4th Class Cadet Darwin Dormitorio.
Cadets Shalimar Imperial Jr., Felix Lumbag and Julius Carlo Tadena are at the PMA stockade under military custody as they are facing court martial.
Presiding Judge Maria Ligaya Itliong-Rivera of the Baguio City RTC Branch 5 issued the the order while she has yet to decide on the motion of the Armed Forces to retain custody of Imperial, Lumbag and Tadena. She gave the prosecution until 8 a.m. of July 30 to file its comment on the AFP’s motion to retain custody of the three cadets, after which the court will consider it submitted for resolution.
The court also directed the prosecution to comment on the petition of Tadena seeking to quash the information filed against him.
The three were ordered arrested by the court after they were indicted by the city prosecutors for Dormitorio’s death. Imperial and Lumbag were indicted for hazing and murder while Tadena is charged with hazing and less serious physical injuries. Tadena was accused of injuring Dormitorio using a taser.
The cadets are under military custody as they are undergoing court martial proceedings for violation of Article of War 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline).
Armed Forces spokesman Col. Egdard Arevalo said military asked the Baguio City court to allow the military to retain custody of the three cadets. “Kung mag-resolve na ang korte na sabihin nila na (if the court resolves and says) ‘no, we deny your petition,’ that’s the time that we will be able to take appropriate action,” he said.
“The main point is the general court martial of the Armed Forces has already acquired jurisdiction on the persons of these cadets pursuant to the case that they were charged against for violation of Articles of War 97 which means we are validly holding them in our custody,” said Arevalo.
“These cadets, subject to military law, are already detained by the AFP, they are not free, they are in jail, and we can bring them to the (Baguio City) court if they are needed (for the trial),” said Arevalo.
Three military officers have been also charged and ordered arrested for the death of Dormitorio. The three – Capt. Flor Apple Apostol, Maj. Maria Ofelia Beloy and Lt. Col. Ceasar Candelaria – were however allowed to post bail of P200,000 bail each. — With Victor Reyes