Baguio prosecutors resolve to indict PMA cadets, officials in Dormitorio hazing death

Michelle Soriano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 24 2020 06:18 PM | Updated as of Jun 25 2020 12:07 AM

BAGUIO CITY - The Baguio City Prosecutor’s Office has found probable cause to bring to court military cadets and officers linked to the hazing death of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio last year. 

In a resolution, the panel of prosecutors recommended the indictment of PMA 3rd Class Cadets Shalimar Imperial and Felix Lumbag Jr. for murder for Dormitorio's hazing death on September 18, 2019. 

Three officials from the PMA Station Hospital- Capt. Flor Apple Apostol, Maj. Ofelia Beloy and Lt. Colonel Ceasar Candelaria- were also ordered charged with murder. 

PMA Cadet Julius Tadena was, meanwhile, charged with hazing and less serious physical injuries, while 2nd Class Cadet Christian Zacarias will face prosecution for slight physical injuries.

Complaints filed against 1st Class Cadet Rey Sanopao, 3rd Class Cadet Rey David John Volante, 3rd Class Cadet John Vincent Manalo, Maj. Rex Bolo and Capt. Jeffrey Batistiana were dismissed for lack of probable cause.

Bolo and Batistiana are both tactical officers in the academy.

The prosecutors also dismissed the charges against then PMA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista and Brig. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro.

Evangelista and Bacarro resigned from their posts amid the controversy.

Lawyer Jose Adrian Bonifacio, the Dormitorio family’s legal counsel, said his clients already received a copy of the resolution and are now weighing their options.

Bonifacio said they feel “a sense of relief because finally they issued the resolution more or less seven months after we filed the cases.”

“It is worth to note that this is the first case to be filed under the new anti-hazing law,” added Bonifacio.

Dormitorio, 20, died inside the PMA barracks after experiencing beatings. He was confined at the hospital twice and was found to have bruises on his stomach consistent with hazing.