Baguio City—Three persons of interest are facing charges while 20 others are now the subject of an investigation due to the death of Philippine Military Academy Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio, the Baguio City Police Office confirmed on Friday.
“Three persons of interests will face administrative charges for violation of the anti-hazing [law],” BCPO director, Col. Allen Rae Co, said in a press briefing.
Co said the suspects are a third class cadet, a second class cadet, and a fourth class cadet.
The third class and second class cadets are now in stockade confinement while the fourth class cadet is at the holding area of the academy.
The 20 other cadets are being investigated to find out whether they have knowledge of the incident.
The doctor who diagnosed Dormitorio to be suffering from urinary tract infection after he was confined a day before his death, will also undergo a probe.
Dormitorio died at 5:15 a.m. on Wednesday, more than an hour after he was rushed to the PMA station hospital after complaining of stomach ache and continuous vomiting.
The PMA relayed Dormitorio’s death to the BCPO on Wednesday afternoon.
A police report said the academy’s physician declared that Dormitorio died of cardiac arrest due to trauma.
The postmortem autopsy conducted by the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory, however, showed a different cause.
“Dormitorio’s cause of death was trauma caused by blunt force that led to the untimely demise of the cadet,” Co said.
He added that “there was already a maltreatment based on the medico-legal result released last night [Thursday].”
The medico-legal report said there were visible signs of trauma surrounding the navel of the cadet.
Co thanked the PMA administration for allowing the investigators full access to facilities and to the cadets.
Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director, Brig. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson, assured Dormitorio’s family of a fair, objective and transparent investigation.
“We believe that justice will be served to the victim and his family,” he said.
PMA Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Ronie Evangelista, said the perpetrators of the crime would face an administrative charge for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law, which carries the penalty of dismissal from military service.
This will be accompanied by a criminal case, the nature of which will depend on the result of the police investigation.
The PMA management has shifted the task of investigating to the police and the National Bureau of Investigation to achieve an impartial result.