PMA finds two swimming instructors negligent, recommends dismissal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 22, 2019   •   526

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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AFP to cooperate with court order vs PMA cadets, officers over Dormitorio death

Robie de Guzman   •   July 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said it has yet to receive a copy of the warrants of arrest issued by a court in Baguio City against six cadets and officers of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) who are facing charges for the death Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio.

In a statement, AFP spokesman Major General Edgard Arevalo said the Judge Advocate General will attend to the matter and give appropriate recommendation to the AFP chief General Felimon Santos Jr. as to the disposition of the named cadets.

The Regional Trial Court Branch 5 of Baguio City issued arrest warrants against 3rd Class Cadets Shalimar Imperial Jr. and Feliz Lumbag Jr., and Cadet Julius Carlo Tadena for murder charges over Dormitorio’s death due to hazing.

The local court also released warrants of arrest against the three officials from the PMA Station Hospital, namely, Lieutenant Colonel Ceasar Candelaria, Captain Flor Apple Apostol, and Major Maria Ofelia Beloy who have also been charged for murder.

Arevalo said six PMA cadets are under the custody of the general headquarters and are now facing trial before a General Court Martial for violation of Article of War 97 Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline.

As to the officers who were ordered to be arrested, Arevalo said the Philippine Military Academy where they are assigned will take appropriate action.

“We once more commit to the court that we will cooperate and, when needed, assist in the swift dispensation of justice. We owe it to the people–especially to the parents of the late Cadet Darwin Dormitorio—and the community of PMA Alumni,” he added.

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:

  • PNP OIC PLtGen. ARCHIE GAMBOA
  • 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

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