2 PMA cadets, 3 doctors indicted in Dormitorio hazing death

By Benjamin Pulta

June 25, 2020, 12:44 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy of Darwin Dormitorio Facebook account)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy of Darwin Dormitorio Facebook account)

MANILA – The Baguio City Prosecutor's' Office ordered the filing of charges of murder and hazing charges against former cadets and officials of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) implicated in the hazing death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dorimitorio.

In a 66-page joint resolution dated June 5 and made public Wednesday, prosecutors ordered that the charges be filed against Shalimar G. Imperal Jr., Felix M. Lumbag Jr., Capt. Flor Apple A. Apostol, Maj. Maria Ofelia R. Beloy and Lt. Col. Caesar A. Candelaria.

Imperial and Lumbag, then third-class cadets, first assaulted Dormitorio in August 2019. Despite numerous visits to the hospital and orders to stay away from Dormitorio, subsequent incidents occurred until Dormitorio succumbed to injuries on the morning of September 19.

Meanwhile, Apostol, Candelaria, and Beloy, medical doctors assigned at the Fort del Pilar Station Medical Hospital who treated the victim were charged after prosecutors said they "grossly failed to provide adequate medical care to Dormitorio, which also caused the latter's death."

Dormitorio, who declined to name his assailants while being treated by the doctors, was noted to have complained of stomachache and was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection despite repeated returns to the hospital.

Cadet 3rd Class (3CL) Julius Carlo Tadena was also charged with hazing and less serious physical injuries while Christian Zacarias, a second-class cadet, was indicted for slight physical injuries.

The charges against Cadet First Class (1CL) Axl Rey Sanopao, Cadet 3rd Class (3CL) Rey David John D. Volante, 3CL John Vincent M. Manalo, Maj. Rex C. Bolo and Capt. Jeffrey Batistiana were dismissed for lack of probable cause.

The charges against Lt. Gen. Ronnie S. Evangelista and Brig. Gen. Bartolome Vicente O. Bacarro, then PMA superintendent and commandant of cadets, respectively, were also dismissed for lack of probable cause.

The charges were recommended by Assistant City Prosecutors Margarita De Guzman Manalo, Edwin Brian Sagsago, and Philip Randolf Kiat-Ong and were approved by City Prosecutor Elmer Sagsago.

"It is everyone's hope that this case would be the last case of hazing not only in the PMA but in all other institutions," the prosecutors said. (PNA)