FOLLOWING the death of Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio, changes in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) are being pushed, including the integration of cadets in one room, a top official said on Friday, October 18.
Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr., PMA commandant of cadets, explained that unlike in the previous setup, there will be first-year, second-year, third-year, and fourth-year cadets in one room.
Brawner added the academy wants to develop brotherhood within every cadet where the upperclassmen will also serve as their mentors.
Three weeks since its implementation, he said there is already a positive response from the cadets.
“So far, the feedback from the cadets is generally positive. Why? The fourth-year cadets said they are forced to do things properly and the first-year have three mentors in the room. Ang effect mas lalo siyang nagiging prim and proper,” he stated.
Short-term solutions in the military academy was further expounded, including additional tactical officers.
At the minimum, he said there are eight tactical officers to date attending to 1,000 cadets which is not ideal.
Tactical officers serve as mentors to cadets. And when cadets commit an offense, the officer gives punishment, including demerits of cadets.
The PMA official is also eyeing additional CCTV camera’s installed along ledges as another short-term solution for the academy.
With the PMA honor code being implemented, Brawner wants to look into improving to achieve PMA honor code objectives.
Amid the demise of Dormitorio, former PMA Superintendent Lieutenant General Ronnie Evangelista emphasized on the honor code.
Brawner and Vice Admiral Ferdinand Cusi, the new PMA Superintendent, replaced Evangelista who resigned together with Brigadier General Vicente Bacarro, a former commandant of the cadets of the academy.
Brawner said the code mandates cadets not to lie, cheat and steal, and must not tolerate those who does and every PMA cadet must have the same interpretation of it.
In lieu of the existing hospital facility, additional expert doctors and equipment were sought to address medical cases in the academy.
To recall, Dormitorio died on September 18.
Criminal charges were filed on October 8 by Dexter, brother of Darwin, against seven cadets and three doctors in violation of the anti-hazing law, murder and anti-torture law. The doctors were earlier relieved by the academy and are facing “dereliction of duty”.