MANILA - A "small group of misguided cadets" was behind the mauling of 6 Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) fresh graduates last month, the board of inquiry (BOI) that looked into the incident said Tuesday.
The BOI, formed by the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), found that these cadets were "blindly followed" by underclassmen who they had "threatened" with "harm."
"New inspectors who were mauled have the tendency to accept the 'harm' inflicted by the underclass," the PPSC said in a press release.
Names of the cadets in question were not released.
The board also noted that there was "failure to effect arrest and cause inquest proceeding of the perpetrators" and a "lack of uniformed personnel to closely supervise other cadet activities" as security guards were prohibited to access the dormitories.
Six new PNPA graduates suffered injuries after allegedly being punched and hit with arnis sticks and stones by 9 of their underclassmen right after their graduation rites last month.
As a result of the investigation, probers recommended to the PPSC board of trustees that "all activities of the corps of cadets should be sanctioned by the duly constituted authorities of the PNPA and should be closely supervised by the Cadet Affairs Office (CAO)."
"In no instance shall any 'secret rituals' involving cadets be conducted," the document said.
"As a deterrence to misconduct, neglect, and undesirable behavior, the PNP should actively prosecute offenses amounting to criminal acts before the regular courts," it added.
The board also recommended "to strengthen the esprit de corps among the cadets" and to "increase the capacity of the PNPA to closely monitor cadet activities."
They also sought the intervention of the Secretary of the Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG) "for the implementation of the policy where deployment to training units under PPSC is considered as a Table of Organization position."
The PPSC said DILG officer-in-charge Eduardo Año emphasized "empowering the ruling class and engag[ing] the cadets thru dialogues and apply[ing] disciplinary actions to erring cadets."
The 9 suspects will face criminal and administrative charges for their actions, said PNPA Director Chief Supt. Joseph Adnol. About 20 others may also be charged. -- report from Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News