Cagayan de Oro lawmaker seeks probe of PMA cadet’s death

Angelo Andrade, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2019 02:53 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2019 10:03 PM

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Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez has sought a legislative investigation into the reported hazing death of Philippine Military Academy cadet Darwin Dormitorio on Sept. 18. 

Rodriguez has also assured Dormitorio's family, which hails from the southern city, that justice would be served for the death of the 20-year-old inside the barracks at Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City. 

Rodriguez said if the crime is proven, the cadet's upperclassmen and academy officials will be held liable. 

"We are going to file charges after the investigation in Congress when we have the testimony of everyone not only against the upperclassmen who did this hazing but also faculty members, administration officials who knew about this hazing but did not prevent it," said Rodriguez.

Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, meanwhile, mourned the tragic death of the cadet, who he described as a promising local boy whose dreams were shattered needlessly.

"We urge the authorities to thoroughly investigate the death and to leave no stone unturned. We also demand that justice be served regardless of any circumstance. Mr. Dormitorio's death should not pass unsolved," said Moreno in a statement.

Dormitorio was fulfilling his dream when he joined the PMA last August, friends and relatives said.

Police on Friday said Dormitorio died of injuries sustained from possible hazing. They said the cadet first complained of stomach pain then rushed to the hospital but died there. Dormitorio had bruises on his stomach. 

There are three “persons of interest” and 20 witnesses in Dormitorio’s death, police said. 

PMA superintendent Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista said two 3rd Class cadets and one 1st Class cadet were being investigated over Dormitorio’s death.

The PMA Hospital will also be investigated after it was found that it had diagnosed Dormitorio with a mere urinary tract infection during a checkup a day before he died.