Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet Darwin Dormitorio was killed after he lost a pair of boots belonging to an upperclassman, the police said yesterday.
Col. Allen Rae Co, chief of Baguio Provincial Police, told The Philippine Daily Inquirer that the boots belonged to Cadet 1st Class Axl Ray Sanupao. After the pair of boots went missing for a week, Sanupao allegedly encouraged two third-class cadets, Shalimar Imperial and Felix Lumbag, to punish the victim.
The duo then allegedly beat Dormitorio, leading to his hospitalization on two occasions last month due to stomach pains, according to ABS-CBN News.
Police are expected to charge the cadets over Dormitorio’s death under anti-hazing laws sometime next week. All three cadets have been dismissed from the PMA over the matter.
Dormitorio died on Wednesday last week in the PMA campus in Baguio City after experiencing internal bleeding, with cardiac arrest having been cited as the official cause of his death. Initial reports alleged that he was rushed to the school’s hospital after vomiting and complaining of stomach pains. However, subsequent information has contradicted this, alleging that the victim was found already unconscious inside a classroom, and was then taken to hospital for medical treatment.
His 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, who had started their training just two months ago.
He was buried yesterday in his home town with full military honors.