CHR probes PMA hazing caught on video

from an ANC report by Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2011 09:57 PM | Updated as of Sep 02 2011 05:17 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is investigating a video clip showing the hazing of a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

It has led CHR chairperson Etta Rosales to call for the amendment of the anti-hazing law to include military and police institutions.

Rosales said she was surprised upon receiving the video in her email.

The clip shows a cadet being pushed, punched, and given a karate chop in the neck.

The cadet was also hit with a knee in the stomach, back, and thighs, and was slapped by fellow cadets.

Rosales said she received the video after media reported on the case of the hazing of police trainees at Camp Eldrige in Laguna, and the death of a cadet at the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy in Zambales.

The email contained no further details, except a message saying, "this is the kind of hazing cadets at the Philippine Military Academy undergo."

"Meron silang internal peace and security plan... dapat sinusundan nila ang sinasabi nila. 'Ika nga, walk the talk," Rosales said.

The Armed Forces has admitted that the hazing incident took place at the PMA in 2007, but since the cadet did not file a complaint, the 3 cadets who hurt him graduated in 2009.

They are now in the active service in the Air Force as second lieutenants.

The Air Force, meanwhile, refused to name those involved in the incident, saying it is investigating if the 3 should remain in the military.

"Talagang pinursue ng AFP ang kaso ... hindi ito tinotolerate ng PMA o ng AFP," said Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr., chief of the AFP public information office.

Rosales believes that the anti-hazing law should be amended.

Under the law, military and police training is not considered hazing.

"Kaya hindi nakakagulat na gumagamit ng torture ang mga pulis at sundalo," the CHR chief said.

Meanwhile, hearings on the hazing case at Camp Eldrige involving 19 police trainers will begin Thursday.