AN ARREST warrant has been issued against the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets suspected of involvement in the death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio from hazing.
Whether the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will turn over the cadets to the police is still under study by the military’s Judge Advocate General, said military spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo.
He stressed, however, that they have committed full cooperation and assistance for the “swift dispensation of justice” for Dormitorio’s death.
“Kung kinakailangan na dalhin natin ‘yung kadete kung may hearing, we are willing to do that, yan ang sinasabi nating cooperation na willing nating gawin and assistance when needed to the dispensation of justice,” he said Wednesday, July 8, 2020.
Arevalo said they have yet to receive a copy of the arrest warrant issued on July 7 by the Regional Trial Court First Judicial Region Branch 5 of Baguio City against the cadets and PMA officials.
He said the cadets indicted over Dormitorio’s death were at the AFP general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
“Wala pa tayong kopya ng warrant of arrest so hindi pa rin nga natin alam kung sino ‘yung mga tao na involved dyan. Pangalawa kailangan munang pagaralan ng the judge advocate general natin, kasi may kaso sila sa atin,” he said.
“Pero hindi ibig sabihin no’n ay sinagot na natin na hindi ibibigay o ibibigay natin, aralin muna natin pag natangap natin kung ano ‘yung mga nakalagay dun. Pagaaralan ng the judge advocate general yan and then he will make appropriate recommendations to the chief of staff dun sa disposition,” he added.
The court issued arrest warrants against Cadets Shalimar Imperial Jr. and Felix Lumbag Jr. for hazing and murder charges and Cadet Julius Carlo Tadena for hazing and "less serious physical injuries" charges.
Former PMA Station Hospital chief Lieutenant Colonel Ceasar Candelaria and medical officers Captain Flor Apple Apostol and Major Maria Ofelia Beloy, who have also been charged with murder, have also been ordered arrested.
Bail amounting to P200,000 each were recommended for the three former PMA officials while no bail was recommended for the three cadets.
Dormitorio died on September 18, 2019 from injuries he obtained after he was allegedly beaten repeatedly by his senior cadets. (SunStar Philippines)