7 PMA cadets allegedly involved in Dormitorio case set to face court martial
Seven cadets of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) are set to face general court martial for their alleged involvement in the maltreatment that caused the death of Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio.
"For them to be discharged, we propose to have general court martial proceedings in military so we still have (their) custody," PMA Cadet Corps Commandant Brig. Gen. Romeo Brawner said Thursday.
The seven cadets who were charged for their direct involvement on the maltreatment of Dormitorio before the Baguio City Prosecutor's Office were Cadet 2nd Class Christian Zacarias, Cadet 1st Class Axl Rey Sanopao and Cadets 3rd Class Shalimar Imperial, Felix Lumbag Jr., John Vincent Manalo, Julius Carlo Tadena and Rey David John Volante.
Brawner said despite the criminal cases the seven cadets were facing, they will remain under military custody until court martial is completed.
"They will remain in our custody while there is an ongoing court martial proceedings," he said. "They are on hold in our stockade," he added.
Brawner said the seven cadets will be discharged if they were found guilty during the general court martial.
Brawner said on the principle of command responsibility Cadet First Class Ram Michael Navarro resigned as brigade commander Wednesday night.
"On his own he volunteered to resign following the actions of superintendent and the former commandant of cadets . Because of the principle of command responsibility he opted also to resign as the baron, as the brigade commander," he said.
Brawner said he was replaced by Cadet First Class Marion Dale Cordova.
Following his resignation, Navarro is now the brigade operation officer of the cadet corps.
"His new designation now is that he is the brigade operations officer so his role is still very active. His role is very important," Brawner said.
"In other words, he will still run the whole operations of the entire corps, so his role is very critical," he added.
Five military officers identified as tactical officers Maj. Rex Bolo and Capt. Jeffrey Batistiana, and doctors Col. Cesar Candelaria, Capt. Apple Apostol and Maj. Ofelia Beloy who were also charged because of the death of Dormitorio.
Capt. Cherryl Tindog, PMA spokesperson, said the military is still evaluating if there is a need for the five military officers to also undergo general court martial.
"There is an ongoing evaluation so we will announce if they have to face the general court martial," she said.
"As of now they are here at the PMA. They are at our holding area.... They are there at the holding unit of the AFP to facilitate their participation in the case," she added. Robina Asido/DMS