AFP mulls tapping ‘third party’ for PMA-wide policy, system review

Published October 7, 2019, 4:04 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Martin A. Sadongdong

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) bared on Monday that it is planning to hire “third party people” to conduct an institution-wide review of the policies of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in the aftermath of the death of a plebe due to hazing.

Newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Noel Clement (10th Infantry Agila Division Philippine Army / MANILA BULLETIN)
Newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Noel Clement
(10th Infantry Agila Division Philippine Army / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Lieutenant General Noel Clement, AFP Chief of Staff, said he wanted to have a “change” not only in the way how cadets are being trained to be the future leaders of the Philippine military but also to monitor how PMA officials are fulfilling their jobs.

“The programs that have to be reviewed are already ongoing. We might get third party people that can help us look into what systems have to be changed in the PMA,” he said.

“Ang babaguhin kasi doon is not only the [way] 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 continued.

The AFP Chief said they might get members of the academe and former PMA graduates as consultants in the planned institution-wide review of PMA programs.

The planned review of PMA programs came after the death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio while three more cadets were hospitalized for suspected maltreatment.

Dormitorio died on September 18 after being subjected in a series of hazings by his upperclassmen.

So shocking was Dormitorio’s death that it led to the resignation of the PMA’s two highest officials for command responsibility: Lieutenant General Ronnie Evangelista as superintendent and Brigadier General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro as commandant of cadets.

Rear Admiral Allan Cusi replaced Evangelista while Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr. took over Bacarro’s post.

“On the part of the PMA, we have installed the new commanders doon. Our actions now, first of all is to settle the cases that have to be filed against the perpetrators against Cadet Dormitorio’s [death],” Clement said.

At least seven cadets and two officials of the PMA Station Hospital are the subjects of criminal charges that have yet to be filed by the Baguio police upon the discretion of Dormitorio’s family.

 
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