By Marjaleen Ramos
The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Monday said the “stripping” of fourth class cadets to determine if any of them have been maltreated or subjected to hazing is underway at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
The “stripping” was ordered by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana following the death of one of its students and two others injured due to alleged hazing.
According to military spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, each cadet will be inspected by his or her tactical officer to look for signs of bruising, scar or any signs of mistreatment, and if they were feeling sick.
“Ang tawag po natin d’yan ay stripping kung saan ang ating mga kadete iniinspeksyon ng kani-kanilang tactical officers… at tignan if they bore markings o mga pasa, galos o ano pa man at tanungin din po sila kung mayroon silang nararamdaman kung wala man nakikitang marka (We call that stripping wherein the cadets are inspected by their respective tactical officers to see if they bore markings, or bruises. They will also be asked how they are feeling if no marks are found on them),” said Arevalo in an interview with DZMM.
Arevalo said it was part of their efforts to stop the hazing in the PMA.
Lorenzana earlier ordered PMA officials to put all freshman students in the academy through medical examination following the death of Cadet Fourth class Darwin Dormitorio.
Dormitorio was found unconscious in the barracks of the academy and rushed to Fort del Pilar Hospital in Baguio City last September 17, where he was shortly pronounced dead on arrival. It was learned that he had been complaining of stomach ache and vomiting.
Last week, two other cadets were hospitalized due to stomach pain.
Arevalo said that the two cadets were on the way to recovery and authorities are currently investigating if their injuries were linked to the death of Dormitorio.