Irregularities in PMA drowning incident? Swimming instructors, fellow cadets face probe

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 9)— Foul play may have been ruled out in the death of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Cadet Fourth Class Mario Telan Jr., but authorities said swimming instructors and fellow plebes are undergoing questioning over supposed “irregularities” in the conduct of the military school’s practical examinations.

Following its parallel probe with the Baguio police, the military school questioned why the class instructors—as well as Telan’s classmates—failed to notice that the cadet was not able to come out of the water after the activity.

Hindi po ito (attendance report) properly nagawa. Hindi po nila na-account, nalaman, na wala po si Cadet Telan noong sila ay umalis ng swimming pool. Naagapan po sana yan kung na-account po properly,” PMA Information Officer Cheryl Tindog told CNN Philippines Saturday.

[Translation: It was not properly done, they were not able to account for him, did not know that Telan was not present when they left the swimming pool. The incident could have been remedied if they accounted for everyone properly.]

“Wala po sa kanila ang nakakakita or nakapansin na hindi na umangat mula sa kanyang pagkakatalon si Cadet Telan. 23 of them, two instructors, swimming pool personnel, cadets part ng class na hindi nag-perform ng actual examination-- lahat sila ay questioned,” Tindog added.

[Translation: They did not see or notice that he was not able to come out after the jump. 23 of them, two instructors, swimming pool personnel, and cadets who are part of the class but did not participate—they are all questioned.]

Initial investigation also revealed Telan failed the first phase of the practical exams, which was a 100-meter freestyle event. Tindog likewise questioned why the instructors let the plebe participate in the second phase—floating and treading— when he was not ready for the next event.

After failing to show up in his next classes on Friday, Telan was found in the deep end of the 15-feet campus pool. He was immediately rushed to the Fort del Pilar Station Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.

READ: Solons demand report on health status of all PMA, PNPA cadets