PMA head should resign over hazing death: Duterte spokesman

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Posted at Sep 23 2019 11:01 AM | Updated as of Sep 23 2019 12:59 PM

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(UPDATE) The head of the Philippine Military Academy should resign after one of its cadets allegedly died due to hazing, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman said Monday. 

"If I were the superintendent and I will not know what is happening in the academy, then I have no business staying in my position," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told ANC. 

"How come there is still hazing there? When you are the boss, then you should be telling your underlings, I will not allow it. I'll fire all of you, I'll put you to jail. If you are a weak boss, then this will happen," he said. 

PMA cadet Darwin Dormitorio, 20, died Wednesday after complaining of stomach pain. He was confined at the hospital twice in the previous month and had bruises on his stomach consistent with hazing. 

Authorities have identified 3 suspects in his death. 

The PMA "is ready to file appropriate charges, administrative and criminal charges to those who are involved," its spokesperson Maj. Ray Afan said Sunday. 

Malacañang also condoled with the family of Dormitorio, and lamented a failure in PMA leadership in relation to preventing the incident. 

"While we commend the PMA for participating with the Baguio police in identifying the upperclassmen as persons of interest or suspects and investigating the incident with its coordination with government authorities, we at the same time lament that there is a failure in leadership as regards being negligent in not stopping this murderous ritual which has no place in a civilized society," Panelo said in a statement.

Hazing incidents and frat-related violence have been plaguing the country’s premier military training institution and other law schools, some of which resulted in deaths.

President Rodrigo Duterte last year signed a stronger anti-hazing law, in response to the hazing death of University of Santo Tomas law freshman Horacio Castillo III. 

"The President is outraged by any kind of oppression. That is oppression," he said. 

ANC, September 23, 2019