Dormitorio narrates PMA upperclassmen's punishment for allowance spending

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 27) — The late Philippine Military Academy cadet (PMA) Darwin Dormitorio personally detailed the beating he endured from his upperclassmen almost one month before he died.

The Baguio police on Friday shared a photo of Dormitorio’s handwritten note. The cadet recalled what happened on the night of August 21, detailing the abuse he received from 3rd class Cadets Shalimar Imperial and Felix Lumbag and a certain Cadet Manalo. He said the three cadets deemed spending half of his allowance as a punishable offense.

"The 4th class of Echo Company he told to signify the allowance in order to track the allowance spending of plebes. I already spent half of my allowance and it was an offense to my buddies namely Cadet Imperial, Cadet Lumbag, and Cadet Manalo," he wrote.

Dormitorio said he was ordered by his upperclassmen to do "pumping exercises" and "bridge under bunks," which led him to getting punched and hit.

"I fell from bridge under bunk many times and hit the floor many times. Cadet Lumbag was very angry and made me raise my arm up high and punched me in the body in the rib part. I was hit a few times more after," he said.

Darwin Dormitorio's handwritten statement

Baguio City police chief PCol Allen Rae Co said the statement was an incident report written by Dormitorio in mid-August for the first of the series of maltreatments he will end up receiving from his fellow PMAers. He said PMA conducted an investigation and ordered Lumbag to stay away from the plebes.

"On August 29, there was already a recommendation for penalty ng administrasyon kay Cadet Lumbag specifically. Itong si Cadet Lumbag was declared off limits to all plebes, especially kay Cadet Dormitorio. But again he violated that off-limits prohibition," he told CNN Philippines.

Co said the three cadets and three new unnamed third class cadets, who are in PMA custody, are set to be charged on September 30 for violating the Anti-Hazing Law. He said they are responsible for a series of maltreatment on Dormitorio, who eventually died of hazing on September 18. Imperial and Lumbag have been dismissed for their “direct participation” in the fatal hazing of Dormitorio after following the "encouragement for maltreatment" of Cadet 1st class Axl Ray Sanupao.

When asked about the Cadet Manalo mentioned in the incident report, the Baguio police chief said he is not part of their criminal investigation, but PMA will look into his administrative liability.

"As of now, sa criminal liability, he's not included in our investigation. Although I was assured by the PMA that they will look for the administrative liability nitong si Cadet Manalo," Co said.

Dormitorio was a 20-year-old freshman cadet who died at the PMA hospital in Baguio City on September 18. He succumbed to fatal blows as a result of hazing.

After his hospitalization in August, he was brought back to the PMA Hospital on September 17. Dormitorio was diagnosed with urinary tract infection and discharged after a four-hour observation. Hours later, he was back at the barracks where he began vomiting. He was found unconscious early morning the next day. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

The medical officer in charge of Dormitorio will also be charged with criminal negligence.

Acting PMA Commandant of Cadets BGen. Romeo Brawner Jr. declared a war on hazing. He said he will scrutinize the implementation of the PMA Honor Code, which states, "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."

"We really have to look into the honor system of the cadets, into its implementation. Honor system is a perfect system, but sometimes when it's implemented, there are differences from the real objectives," he told CNN Philippines on Friday.