MANILA - Several cadets and officials of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) may face charges of torture and murder aside from hazing over the death of freshman cadet Darwin Dormitorio, police said Thursday.
The Dormitorio family has decided to postpone the filing of the complaint and said they want to make sure first that the pieces of evidence and accounts of 16 witnesses were airtight.
“Dapat kasi klaro talaga ang ifa-file natin sa piskalya. Because of the nature of the case, mahirap po 'yung magmadali tayo dito,” the family's legal counsel Jose Adrian Bonifacio said.
(We should file a clear complaint before the fiscal. We can't rush this due to the nature of the case.)
"We are making sure na covered lahat ng aspeto. We are also making sure na tama ang krimen na ihahabla natin."
(We are making sure that all aspects are covered. We are also making sure that we will file the right complaint.)
Dormitorio, 20, died Sept. 18 after taking beatings from his upperclassmen. He was hospitalized twice in August and September and had bruises on his stomach consistent with hazing.
The Baguio City Police Office earlier identified 7 suspects linked to Dormitorio's death. Two medical personnel who checked on the cadet during his past hospitalizations might also be held accountable due to negligence.
The police conducted Thursday a closed-door case conference to brief Bonifacio and the cadet's brother Dexter on their investigation.
As the family cried for justice, they also remained hopeful that the academy’s reputation would be saved.
“My father loves his alma mater. Also, 'yung values na naturo dun sa academy … that’s what he used to raise us, his children,” Dexter said, of his father, a PMA alumnus.
The freshman cadet died “a slow and painful death. Something he did not really deserve.”
Dexter said they fight not only to claim justice for his brother but also to protect the future of the children who may want to enter the academy.
“Violence isn’t the way to teach discipline," he said.