By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Sunday said the culture of hazing will not change if senior officials believe it should not change.
Angara made the statement as he joined other lawmakers in condemning the killing of Darwin Dormitorio, a plebe at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) who died recently at the hands of three fellow cadets.
The senator reiterated his belief that military and police institutions can find other ways to boost discipline and training without the use of violent rites of passage.
“Hazing culture will never change if seniors say it shouldn’t change. Frats and the military are hierarchical institutions,” Angara said in a post on Facebook.
Angara lamented that even though the recently amended anti-hazing law is very strict, members of military institutions still observe the so-called “operational code” despite the letter of the law.
“Culture is the product of people’s behavior, it can change but seniors have to lead the way in these organizations,” Angara pointed out.
“There will be no change if the seniors make the new members feel inferior if they do not go through these violent rites of passage,” he stressed.
Initial reports released by the PMA said that three 3rd class cadets and one 1st class cadet is now being investigated over their alleged involvement in the 20-year old’s tragic death.
The PMA hospital is also under investigation after it was learned that Dormitorio was diagnosed with a mere urinary tract infection during a medical check-up a day before he died.
“Let me tell you violence is not what begets loyalty or mental or physical toughness. There are other ways to test these,” the lawmaker stressed.
“Seems we never learn or we prefer to learn the hard way. Rest in peace,” Angara said.