PMA finds two swimming instructors negligent, recommends dismissal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 22, 2019   •   147

Armed Forces of the Philippines cadets march onto a field during change of command ceremonies for a new military Chief-of-Staff at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines 24 September 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) has found two swimming instructors negligent over the drowning of a PMA cadet.

Based on the investigation of the PMA, the negligence of swimming instructors Robert Bete and Antonio Catalan has possibly led to the death of cadet 4th class Mario Telan Jr. last November 8.

PMA Spokesperson Cherryl Tindog said the investigation showed no foul play from the scene.

“Nakita po sa investigation na mayroon po talagang gross neglect doon po sa kanila pong part (Based on the investigation there was really gross neglect on their part),” she said.

The PMA has recommended Bete for dismissal while Catalan has already been dismissed from the PMA as a job-order employee.

“Kaya administrative case iyong ating prinocess dito po sa Philippine Military Academy (That is why we processed an administrative case here at PMA),” Tindog said.

Catalan has also been recommended to the Civil Service Commission for cancellation of eligibility, perpetual disqualification from holding public office of the two swimming instructors. This also includes a ban on applying for civil service exams.

Meanwhile, deliberation continues for the two 4th class cadet responsible for accounting their fellow classmates during the swimming class as well as the head of Sports and Physical Development Unit of the PMA.

Swimming classes in PMA remains suspended until all security measures in the facility are installed.—AAC (with reports Harlene Delgado)

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PMA confirms death of another cadet

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 8, 2019

The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) has confirmed that a fourth class cadet apparently drowned in the academy’s swimming pool on Friday (November 8).

Based on the initial information received by the PMA, Cadet Fourth class Mario Telan Jr of Alpha Company of the Cadet Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was found at the bottom of the 15-foot deep end of the pool.

Reports say he attended his swimming class from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. but he never attended the rest of his classes.

“Efforts were done to revive him and he was immediately transferred to Fort del Pilar Station Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician,” the statement reads.

A thorough investigation is now being conducted to determine the events that transpired leading to this incident.

Swimming classes are also temporarily suspended until further notice.

“PMA deeply grieves for this unfortunate loss of one of our sons. All necessary assistance will be extended to the bereaved family and loved ones of Cdt 4CL Telan,” according to PMA’s statement.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

PNP denies pressures from former generals pushed PGen Albayalde to resign

Maris Federez   •   October 15, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has denied that there had been a group of former generals who pressured PGen Oscar Albayalde to step down from his post as chief of the national police.

Albayalde announced his resignation on Monday (Oct. 14) amid the controversial drug raid in Pampanga in 2013 while he was still the provincial director.

Senator Richard Gordon mentioned the possibility that pressures from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) pushed Albayalde to resign.

“Ang naging dahilan ni Albayalde ay serye ng pagdinig at pressure doon sa issue (Albayalde’s reasons for his resignation were the series of hearings and on the issue itself),” PNP spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac said.

The PNP, however, admitted that Albayalde’s decision to go on a terminal leave had affected the morale of the police.

Banac said the PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986, where Albayalde belongs, is in full support of the former police chief’s decision.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is still in the process of choosing the next PNP chief.

Three senior police officers are already in the shortlist of the president. These are:

  • Deputy Chief PNP for Operations PLtGen. Camilo Cascolan
  • Chief of Directorial Staff PMGen. Guillermo Eleazar

The President, however, has the prerogative to choose anyone of the generals in the PNP. —(from the report of April Cenedoza) /mbmf

PH Navy gets new vice commander, chief of staff after Cusi departure

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy has installed a new vice commander and chief of staff following the departure of Rear Admiral Allan Ferdinand Cusi to assume his new post as superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Major General Dante Hidalgo is the new Navy vice commander (VCom) replacing Cusi who was transferred to the top PMA post following the resignation of Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista over the hazing death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio.

Cusi held the VCOM post in acting capacity for a month while serving as the commander of Naval Education, Training and Doctrine Command (NETDC).

Hidalgo and Cusi are both members of the PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986.

Flag Officer in Command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, presided over the joint turn-over ceremony at the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila on Friday.

Hidalgo was the former commander of the Naval Reserve Command.

Meanwhile, Littoral Combat Force commander, Commodore Rey Dela Cruz will now be the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), replacing Rear Admiral Loumer Bernabe who is designated as the new commander of NETDC.

Bernabe and Dela Cruz are mistahs from PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.

The vice commander and the chief of naval staff are two of the highest positions in the Philippine Navy organization next to the Flag officer in command.

The vice commander acts as the principal assistant of the Navy chief in decision-making process and policy formulation and implementation, while the naval staff chief administers all members of Philippine Navy staff in the accomplishment of the respective missions.

In his remarks during the ceremony, Empedrad underscored the importance of the turn-over of duties and responsibilities.

“It is but proper that we put the right person at the right job,” he said, further vouching for these senior officers whose “credibility, credentials, integrity and expertise” make them deserving to occupy their respective posts.


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