‘Third party’ help eyed for reforms at PMA

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    ARMED Forces chief Lt. Gen. Noel Clement yesterday said the military is planning to tap a third party in crafting measures to end the hazing problem at the Philippine Military Academy.

    “We might get third-party people that can help us look into what systems have to be changed in PMA,” Clement said in an interview after flag-raising rites at the AFP’s general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

    Clement said the third party may include persons from the academe and graduates of the academy “because they (graduates) know what is actually going on there at the PMA.”

    “We’re looking into it… It’s going to be an institution-wide review so the solution will be long term to address the problem on hazing,” said Clement.

    “What we are going to change there is not only how we train our cadets but probably even how the officers that are assigned there perform their respective duties in as far as training the cadets are concerned,” he added.

    AFP inspector general Lt. Gen. Antonio Ramon Lim recently completed a probe on the recent hazing incidents at the academy. The military is crafting reforms based on the findings of the probe.

    Several hazing cases were reported last month. One of them led to the death of Fourth Class Cadet Darwin Dormitorio, on September 18. The military has said three others were confined in hospitals — two at the AFP Medical Center in Quezon and at the Saint Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City.

    Clement said there are actually four cadets in hospitals — three at the AFP Medical Center and one at the Saint Luke’s Global. He did not give details as to the third cadet confined at the military hospital.

    PMA spokesman Maj. Reynan Afan could not immediately give figures on the number of fourth class cadets who were maltreated, including those currently in hospitals.

    Afan said there are cadets confined in a military hospital but their cases are not related to maltreatment or hazing. He said one was injured while playing baseball while another was taken to the hospital for fever.

    Several cadets have been dismissed or suspended in connection with Dormitorio’s death.

    The Baguio City police which is also conducting an investigation is preparing charges for at least nine individuals.