Five cadets from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) are being investigated after they were allegedly featured in two viral videos that surfaced early this week that appear to show them abusing their schoolmates.
One of the videos shows a cadet being beaten by a schoolmate who was wearing fatigues. Another video shows one plebe being kicked by schoolmates inside a room while others laugh at his predicament. The videos, which the PMA said were taken in 2017 and 2018, surfaced almost a month after the death of freshman Dexter Dormitorio from hazing.
PMA spokesman Maj. Cheryl Tindog told Manila Bulletin that a cadet who appeared in one of the videos had been expelled last year for violating school rules. The other five cadets involved have been detained in the school.
“Last Monday night, we confined the five cadets involved at the holding center here in PMA for an immediate investigation utilizing the videos as tools and bases for an impartial inquiry,” said Tindog.
Tindog insisted that despite Dormitorio’s death and the appearance of the videos, hazing is not tolerated in the PMA.
“Because we have declared an all-out war against hazing here at the academy, we are taking this seriously and there is no way that we will tolerate these activities,” she told the CNN Philippines TV show “Balitaan” in a separate interview.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) today appealed to the public to stop spreading the viral hazing videos. In a statement, AFP spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said sharing the videos was of no benefit to anyone.
“Showing videos of the said kind will only add insult to injury. Let us allow the family and the PMA to heal and the Corps of Cadets to learn from its mistake and move on,” Arevalo said.
Dormitorio’s death has led to the resignations of PMA superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista and commandant of cadets Bartolome Bacarro. A native of Cagayan de Oro City and the son of a PMA graduate, Dormitorio belonged to the Class of 2023. His family has already filed charges against those allegedly involved in his tragic death.