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Kabataan party-list condemns PMA hazing, seeks justice for cadet’s death

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Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago on Friday called for an investigation into the hazing death of a Philippine Military Academy cadet who died of internal bleeding on Thursday.

“The investigation should shed light on why a healthy and fit 20-year old who passed PMA’s strict requirements died due to “cardiac arrest secondary to internal hemorrhage” after less than two months as a PMA cadet,” the Makabayan lawmaker said.

“We also want to know what steps authorities took when Darwin earlier complained of stomach pain and was seen vomiting hours before being found unconscious at PMA Mayo Hall Annex Room 209,” she added.

Darwin Dormitorio, 20, died on September 19, just 53 days after entering the PMA as a Cadet 4th Class, with Baguio’s police medico-legal confirming reports that his death was due to hazing.

The Philippine National Police said there were 20 witnesses in the hazing incident.

“We join his parents in looking forward to an investigation into Darwin’s death. Cadets and students everywhere don’t expect deaths to happen inside schools, especially in the country’s most prestigious military academy,” Elago said.

“Could Darwin’s life have been saved if authorities quickly addressed complaints of stomach pain and brought to the PMA Station Hospital? Why wait for him to pass out and for his condition to get so worse that he could not be saved?” she added.

The lawmaker noted media reports that PMA had placed upperclassmen and Darwin’s classmates under “restrictive confinement” pending an investigation.

“I will immediately confer with Cagayan de Oro Reps. Rolando Uy and Rufus Rodriguez on what we in Congress could do to honor Darwin and his family, and to make sure his death would be fully investigated,” she said.

“Tayo ay makikiisa sa pagkundena sa hazing at panawagan ng hustisya!” Elago said.

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