Palace vows ‘no whitewash’ in probe of cadet’s death, welcomes resignation of PMA superintendent

Published September 24, 2019, 3:22 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

The investigation into the fatal death of a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet will be pursued to attain justice even as the school head has resigned out of delicadeza, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo assured the public that there would be “no whitewash” in the investigation on the death of cadet Darwin Dormitorio.

“News on the resignation of Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista as Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) has reached the Palace. We welcome this development as a right step towards upholding the integrity of the PMA as the country’s premier military institution and recognize the same as a form of genuine delicadeza on the part of Lt. Gen. Evangelista,” he said.

“Investigation is currently ongoing. The Office of the President guarantees that there will be no whitewash and expects that justice will be rendered for those responsible for the PMA plebe’s fatal death,” he added.

Evangelista earlier announced that he was tendering his resignation following the death of the PMA cadet allegedly due to hazing inside the academy, citing command responsibility. His resignation letter was reportedly submitted to Armed Forces chief Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr.

Dormitorio died last Wednesday after complaining of stomach pain. The hazing death triggered condemnation from the President and other concerned sectors.

The Palace earlier said the President was outraged by the death of the 20-year-old military student due to hazing. Panelo said the President denounces hazing and other forms of oppression.

Panelo, in a Palace press briefing, said he hopes other government officials will emulate Evangelista who showed command responsibility.

“Sana ganyan ang mga public officials. Kapag nagkaroon ng insidente sa opisina, and you feel it’s command responsibility, huwag na kayong maghintay ng insinuation na dapag mag-resign ka. Immediately nag-resign niya including the deputy [We hope other public officials will be the same. If there is an incident in the office and you feel it’s command responsibility, don’t wait for the insinuation that you have to resign. he and his deputy resigned immediately,” he said.

“We will proceed with the investigation.  We will prosecute those behind this murderous, I will classify this as murderous because hazing is intentional, inflicting physical injuries on the victim,” he added.

Read more: PMA superintendent resigns following death of plebe due to hazing