A warrant of arrest has been served against the three cadets who were tagged in the hazing death of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) freshman cadet Darwin Dormitorio last year.
Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, on Friday said the arrest warrant issued by Presiding Judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera last Tuesday has been served against cadets Felix Lumbag Jr., Shalimar Imperial, and Julius Carlo Tadena in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City where they are being held under military custody.
Arevalo said the warrant was served by Army Major Evangeline Nualda, commanding officer of the Military Police Battalion and the designated custodial officer of the AFP Custodial and Detention Center.
Aside from a case before a civilian court, Lumbag, Imperial, and Tadena, along with three other PMA cadets, are also facing criminal prosecution before a General Court Martial for violating Article of War 97 or Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline, hence, their detention in Camp Aguinaldo.
“The Return/Service of Warrant will be submitted to the court today (Friday),” Arevalo said.
“Contained in the said return is the certification that the accused were already arrested and placed under detention starting at the PMA and continue to be detained in the Camp Aguinaldo stockade where they were transferred on January 17, 2020,” he added.
Military personnel or in this case, PMA cadets, facing a court martial for their offenses while in service may be held under the custody of the AFP while facing a probe before a civilian court.
This arrangement may be done upon the approval of the military’s request by the civilian court.
The AFP shall release the custody of the accused personnel to civilian authorities after the court martial is concluded.
Arevalo said the AFP commits “to secure, present and or deliver the living body of any or all the accused cadets to the proper authorities when so ordered, including pertinent orders or directives from the General Court Martial and the Honorable Court.”
Meanwhile, the PMA said at least one of the three medical officers who were also named in the arrest warrant has paid the P200,000 bail for her temporary freedom.
PMA spokesperson Major Cheryl Tindog said Major Maria Ofelia Beloy appeared to the PMA to pay the bond last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Caesar Candelaria, who was re-assigned to Camp Aguinaldo, and Capt. Flor Apple Apostol, who was transferred to the Philippine Air Force, have their own private lawyers.
Beloy, Apostol, and Candelaria were accused of misdiagnosing Dormitorio with a urinary tract infection.
Candelaria was the former commanding officer of the PMA Station Hospital, Beloy was the executive officer while Apostol was the attending doctor.
Dormitorio died on Sept. 18, 2019 after being hazed by his senior cadets.