AFP may provide legal help to two PMA officials charged for violating anti-hazing law
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) may provide legal assistance for the two Philippine Military Academy (PMA) officials charged for violating the anti-hazing law in the death of Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio.
"Definitely, they will be provided legal assistance unless they will opt to have another," said Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, in an interview with Daily Manila Shimbun on Saturday.
"Because under the rules, the lawyer should not only be very competent. He or she must also be the counsel of choice," he added.
This was confirmed by Arevalo after Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista, the former PMA superintendent and commandant of cadets Brig. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro were charged with violation of the anti-hazing law by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Arevalo said "when men and women in uniform tasked to accomplish a mission are later asked to account for what they did or failed to do, that is soldiery."
"When soldiers, airmen, sailors, or marines face a military tribunal or a civilian court to answer charges for what they did or failed to do, that’s due process," he said.
"That is what military leaders who decide and act in all circumstances must be prepared to do," he added.
After the death of Dormitorio, Evangelista and Bacarro resigned from their posts due to the principle of command responsibility. Robina Asido/DMS