ABUSE will no longer be tolerated at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr., commandant of Cadets of PMA, said one of the biggest changes implemented in the academy is the eradication of hazing of the cadet core.
Brawner said that after the untimely death of Fourth Class Cadet Darwin Dormitorio last year, changes are being implemented in the military institution to completely eradicate hazing.
"A campaign against hazing was launched and what was very important about this, it was not only by the administration of PMA but by the cadets themselves," Brawner said.
The PMA implemented an integration of cadets cohabiting living quarters with a mix of first to fourth class cadets together in a bid to foster camaraderie and a reinforced buddy system.
"This proves to be effective in eradicating hazing because the upper-class cadets felt responsible for the lower cadets and there was a camaraderie that was built," Brawner said.
Previously, Baguio City prosecutors recommended the filing of violation of Anti-Hazing law and murder charges versus two PMA cadets and three doctors after the demise of Cadet Dormitorio in September 2019.
In the 66-page resolution, findings of city prosecutors also stated that the attacks on Dormitorio that resulted in his death were attended by the Treachery and Abuse of superior strength employed by PMA cadets.
Dormitorio's family, in an official statement, expressed relief that a resolution has been made after nine months, but expressed dissatisfaction with the resolution because the Anti-Hazing law of 2018 was only selectively and partially applied.
Brawner said that in March this year, the Department of National Defense (DND) directed a study group to visit PMA and study and current situation. As result, the group came up with a recommendations of several changes to be implemented by PMA.
Under the memorandum of recommendations, the academy was directed to: Implement segregation by class the soonest possible time before the arrival of class 2024; Only officers of the headquarters tactics group and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) are handling the training of the new cadets; Educate, doctorate and capacitate the new cadets to refuse, to report illegal, immoral and authorized orders and make necessary changes to regulation and classification of acts or orders, device monitoring compliance and measures and make necessary transitory adjustments and; Design courses to educate tactical officers and tactical NCOs; and institutionalize measures to effectively recreate a culture of no maltreatment, high regard of honor code.
All of the changes are being implemented, prior to the arrival of class 2024 this month.
"We have already institutionalize measures, if you go around the barracks you will see a lot of posters reminding cadets about not maltreating other cadets," said Brawner, as he assured parents on safety and care of the plebes.