Death of PMMA cadet, ‘a cruel incident’ – CHR

Published July 12, 2021, 4:45 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki


The death of 19-year-old Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) cadet due to punches in his chest last July 6 is a “cruel incident” that should not happen place again.

In a statement, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) expressed concern how Fourth Class Jonash Bondoc was found unconscious at the Alpha Company Barracks’ restroom at around 6:30 a.m. He was rushed to the San Marcelino District Hospital in Zambales, but was declared dead on arrival.

The suspect, also a cadet, confessed that he was responsible for the death of Bondoc. He said the punches were meant to be a “farewell” gesture or “lambing” (expression of affection).

But CHR Spokesperson and lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia said such acts should not be tolerated. “The Commission denounces the violence that happened within the premises of a higher educational institution,” she said.

“The CHR is calling on the administrators and authorities to ensure that such cruel incident shall never happen again inside PMMA, and to guarantee that the full enjoyment of rights of students, especially the protection of right to life, is observed in school campuses,” she added.

The CHR reminded the PMMA that it is obliged by law to protect the peace, safety, and security of its students at all times and must put mechanisms in place to avoid this senseless death.

“Schools, universities, and similar institutions should be places where our youth are given an opportunity for a better future, not where dreams and lives end,” De Guia said.

She said the CHR in Region III is conducting an independent investigation.

“We express our deepest condolences to the family of the victim and hope that a thorough investigation by law enforcement authorities on the case will also be launched to ensure the full delivery of justice for the fallen cadet,” she added.