TWO Philippine Military Academy (PMA) instructors involved in the tragic drowning of Fourth Class Cadet Mario Telan Jr. have been discharged from the academy.
Robert Bete and Antonio Catalan, the two civilian swimming instructors, were found negligent and imprudent in the conduct of the course, “Fundamentals of Swimming”, which led to the death by drowning of Cadet Telan.
Bete, a regular employee of the command, “has been recommended for dismissal from the service with penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and barred from taking civil service examinations,” PMA added.
While the contract of Catalan, a job-order employee, is immediately terminated by PMA. He has also been recommended to the Civil Service Commission for cancellation of eligibility, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and barred from taking civil service exams.
The sanctions are based on Rule 10, Section 46 of Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service i.e. for Gross Neglect of Duty.
Meanwhile, the sanctions for the lapses, faults and shortcomings of the two 4th Class Cadet marchers who were responsible for accounting their classmates before and after the swimming class, as well as the head of the Sports and Physical Development Unit are being thoroughly deliberated upon and for immediate implementation.
The swimming classes of the cadets in all levels remain suspended until all safety measures have been covered and are in place.
PMA spokesperson Captain Cheryl Tindog added the academy is also arranging for the assignment of a team from the Philippine Navy Special Operations Group to be part of all water-borne training activities of the cadets.
Telan, classmate of Cadet Darwin Dormitorio, who died on November 8, attended his swimming class from 11 a.m. to 12nn. Since then, he was unaccounted in his next classes.
A search was conducted and he was found in the 15-foot deep end of the pool while efforts were done to revive him and he was immediately transferred to the Fort del Pilar Station Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.
Telan Jr., the third cadet who died in the academy this year, is a member of Alpha Company of the Cadet Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
To recall, 23–year-old Cadet Second Class Cedrick Gadia succumbed to death due to cancer on October 28.
While Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio died due to hazing on September 18.