'Irregularities' seen in PMA cadet's drowning: spokeswoman

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2019 08:09 AM | Updated as of Nov 11 2019 08:32 AM

The Philippine Military Academy honored Saturday the remains of freshman cadet Mario Telan Jr., who drowned in the campus swimming pool on Friday. PMA handout

MANILA — The drowning of a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy could have been prevented had several "irregularities" been addressed, an official said Monday. 

Cadet fourth class Mario Telan Jr. was found dead in the campus pool on Friday, an hour after a swimming exercise, the PMA earlier said. It happened nearly 2 months after the death of another cadet officer due to alleged hazing

The freshman's classmates and instructors "seemed to be attending to their own activities" and did not notice that he failed to surface after diving into the water, said PMA Public Affairs chief Capt. Cherryl Tindog.

Protocol mandates a headcount of students before and after each activity, but a cadet assigned to monitor his peers' whereabouts for that day failed to do this and report to instructors, she told radio DZMM. 

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"Meron po tayong irregularities na nakita na kung sana ay naiwasan natin ngayon (we saw irregularities that if avoided), this event could have been prevented," Tindog said. 

Telan did not report any health problem before the swimming exercise and had even joked with classmates, she said. 

"Ang kwento sa atin ng classmates niya, nagtatanong-tanong pa siya kung papaano po ba mag-floating, papaano po ba lumangoy, humihingi siya ng tips," said the official. 

(His classmates told us he was asking about how to float, swim. He was asking for tips.) 

The police ruled out foul play in the death of Telan, whose remains were sent to his hometown in Cagayan province, Sunday. 

Darwin Dormitorio, another PMA freshman, died in September after sustaining hazing-related injuries.