MANILA - The Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) has formed a board of inquiry to investigate the mauling incident involving cadets of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA).
The board of inquiry, which will conduct a broader probe, will be led by Romy Magsalos, Director of the National Police College, and lawyer Jason Ison, along with 5 other members.
Nine PNPA cadets are facing criminal and administrative charges for allegedly mauling their seniors after their graduation rites. More or less 20 others may also be charged.
According to PPSC President Ricardo De Leon, the board will also look into a video taken in 2017, which recently surfaced online, showing a supposed hazing incident inside the PNPA.
"'Yung nakita ko sa YouTube at sa Rappler. Nagkaroon sila ng initiation. That was not even authorized. Nagkaroon na nga sila ng covenant ng anti-hazing," he said.
De Leon said it is possible that the release of the alleged hazing video online was done to counter the move of those who filed the case against the cadets.
"Ang isa doon (sa video) na pumapalo ay 'yon 'yung naging victim sa graduation. That was the report that I received. Kaya gumanti rin," he said.
"There is a high possibility because may mga na-pinpoint na 'yung one of the lieutenants, siya 'yung isang pumapalo diyan sa hazing video [from] 2017," he added.
De Leon also said the venue of the alleged hazing was undeniably done inside the PNPA dormitory as those involved were wearing uniforms at the time of the incident.
He said the PNPA already communicated to the cadets that hazing is not allowed and that it is against the law. The cadets even signed "two covenants," he added.
De Leon, who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy, recalled "dunking," or throwing a cadet in a pool, as the only tradition during his time. He said it was never done to cause harm or hurt anyone in the academy.
"Ito 'yung farewell lang ito. Kilitian at kulitan. Walang manhandling kasi kapag naitapon ka na sa pool, aahunin ka, sasaluduhan ka, para bang 'Goodluck, sir!' as a new officer," he said.
"Ihahatid ka pa nga sa kuwarto. Diyan na 'yung mag-uumpisa na kaniya-kaniyang hawak ng pentel pen. Mamanahin mo ang mga gamit nila," he added.
The board of inquiry is expected to come up with investigation results on April 2.