Darwin Dormitorio, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet who died in campus early this week after being found unconscious on a classroom floor, has been identified as a victim of hazing, the Baguio City police announced today.
Authorities believe the freshman was hazed after discovering bruises on his stomach. Police are now looking at the possibility that three people — all cadets — were responsible for the hazing. They also estimated that at least 20 other people witnessed the freshman being tortured, reported ABS-CBN News.
The three cadets being investigated have been placed under the restrictive custody of the PMA, the school responsible for training the country’s soldiers.
“It appears that his body was mauled [which caused his death],” Brig. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson, director of the Cordillera province police told The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“There was forced inflicted on him as if he were punched and kicked,” he added.
In a statement sent to GMA News, the PMA vowed to get to the bottom of the case with the help of the police.
“We pledge that no stone will be left unturned [in this investigation]. All perpetrators will be held liable to the full extent of the law,” the statement reads. “Wrong perspectives and malpractices that may have developed in some cadets will be sought and corrected. The monitoring and reporting system for the overall well-being of every cadet shall be enhanced.”
The PMA announced yesterday that Dormitorio had experienced internal bleeding and the official cause of his death was cardiac arrest. Initial reports said he was rushed to the school’s hospital after he vomited and complained of stomach pains, but subsequent reports said he was found unconscious inside a classroom before he was taken in for medical treatment.
A native of Cagayan de Oro City, Dormitorio belonged to the PMA Class of 2023, which started their training just two months ago.