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‘Di na natuto! Lacson: PMA cadets in Dormitorio’s death should’ve been ‘creative’ instead of resorting to hazing

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Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) upperclassmen cadets tagged in the death of 20-year-old Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio should’ve resorted to more “creative” ways of instilling discipline instead of resorting to hazing.

Lacson said Monday (September 23) that the cadets should know better because hazing is now a criminal offense that carries harsh penalties.

“Dapat sila they go with the flow, hindi na pwede ang hazing and they should avoid physical contacts,” he told reporters at the Senate.

Lacson said that while the amended anti-hazing law allows prospective members to undergo grueling activities as part of police or military training, physical contact and violence are out of the picture.

“Ang physical exertions that’s part of training. You are required to climb a mountain or hill for example, or run hundreds of kilometers, that could be allowed under the exceptions sa anti-hazing law we passed. Pero pag physical contact na, that’s a clear violation of the anti-hazing law,” he said.

Police said Dormitorio died on Sept. 18 due to hazing. Results of the autopsy showed he had bruises all over his body, which could’ve been the result of his being kicked or punched.

Republic Act 11053, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year, imposes a P3-million fine and imprisonment of up to 40 years for those who would be found guilty of taking part in hazing rites that result in death, rape, sodomy or mutilation.

Lacson said he couldn’t help but feel pity towards the PMA upperclassmen cadets tagged in Dormitorio’s death because of the penalties they could possibly face if they were proven to have taken part in hazing rites.

“These people, the upperclass cadets, are now at the prime of their lives, sa mga early 20s or not even 20-year-olds. But then they face the possibility of spending the rest of their lives in prison,” he said.

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