2 swim instructors held for death of PMA cadet

The death of Philippine Military Academy Cadet Fourth Class Mario Telan Jr. may have been indirectly caused by two swimming instructors who had been assigned to look after the students.

According to PMA spokesperson Capt. Cherryl Tindog said swimming instructors Robert Bete and Antonio Catalan, both civilians, have been found to have acted with imprudent in the conduct of the course, “Fundamentals of Swimming” that led to Telan’s death.

Tindog said because of the incident, Bete, a regular employee, was recommended to be dismissed from service “with penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and barred from taking civil service examinations.”

But Tindog added that the final decision on Bete's possible dismissal would still be decided by the Civil Service Commission.

"It will be up to higher headquarters. Sa Civil Service po kasi, PMA can only recommend at most," Tindog said.

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines general headquarters take the next step po to endorse it to the Civil Service Commission. Ang CSC po kasi ang may authority over regular civilian employees po."

The contract of Catalan, a job-order employee, on the other hand, had already been terminated from the military school.

Tindog said like Tindog, the PMA has also recommended Catalan’s “cancellation of eligibility, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and barred from taking civil service exams” to the CSC.

According to Tindog, the sanctions were based on Rule 10, Section 46 of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.

Telan was found dead in the 15-foot deep end of the military school’s swimming pool early this month, apparently from drowning. He was declared dead on arrival at the PMA Hospital.

Meanwhile, the PMA official also said still being determined are the sanctions to be meted against the two marchers, who were responsible for accounting their classmates before and after the swimming class.

Aside from the lapses of the marchers, Tindog said the possible lapses of the head of the Sports and Physical Development Unit is also being probed.

Meanwhile, Tindog said all swimming classes of the cadets in all levels remain suspended until all safety measures have been covered and are in place.

Tindog said they are now looking at asking a  team from the Philippine Navy Special Operations group to supervise the water-borne training activities of the cadets.

Topics: Philippine Military Academy , PMA Cadet Fourth Class Mario Telan Jr.
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