Senator Dela Rosa rues Evangelista’s resignation

Published September 24, 2019, 5:13 PM

by CJ Juntereal

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Ronaldo “Bato” Dela Rosa has lamented the resignation of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Supt. Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista, following the death of 20-year old cadet Darwin Dormitorio.

Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

“He’s another good officer whose career was wasted because of that very unfortunate incident,” Dela Rosa told reporters in an interview.

Evangelista announced his decision on Tuesday, the same time the commandant of the Corps of Cadets Brig. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro stepped down.

Dela Rosa said he can vouch for Evangelista’s integrity and character saying he knew the PMA chief very well.

“I know him very well si Gen. Evangelista. Napakagaling na opisyal (yan), lahat ng matitinding assignment sa army nahahawakan niya (He is a very good official. He handled all the most difficult assignments in the army),” the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief said.

“But he was there at the right time in the wrong incident,” Dela Rosa said.

PNP officials said Dormitorio died in Sept. 18 from cardiac arrest, secondary to internal injuries supposedly from hazing.

Dela Rosa, however, said he cannot say if Evangelista committed negligence on his part.

“I can’t say, kasi kaming mga kadete magaling kami magtago ng sikreto(because we cadets are good st keeping secrets) so I can’t say na (there is) negligence on his part,” he pointed out.

“Unfair naman sa akin na husgahan siya na negligence on his part dahil alam ko may effort siya na maiwasan ang hazing (It’s unfair for me to judge negligence on his part because I know of his efforts to prevent hazing,” Dela Rosa said.

Asked if he believes hazing is needed as part of the training at the PMA, the senator said “no.”

“Maraming paraan…pa-squat-in mo yan buong araw. Tignan natin kung di magtino. Push up ka buong gabi (There are other ways, you can make him do squats the whole day. Or have him do push ups at night),” he pointed out.

“Physical activities pa rin pero no body contact,” he stressed.