MANILA - In wake of the death of a young cadet of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) caused by hazing, some notable PMA alumni have given their thoughts on the notorious culture of hazing in the primary training and educational institution of the country's military, and even other universities.
The young cadet, Darwin Dormitorio, passed away last September 18 due to hazing. He had internal hemorrhage due to blows received by his body, police said.
Upperclassmen, or senior cadets, were suspected behind Dormitorio's demise.
Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV said there are alternatives to hazing cadets if discipline is needed in the ranks.
"I really hope PMA would find an alternative to the current system... that would give same results instilling discipline without having to hurt physically," said Trillanes.
Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said the suspects behind Dormitorio's death were "probably out of misplaced enthusiasm" on hazing a PMA freshman.
"It is too late for them though and they will have to face the consequence of their indiscretions," Lacson said.
A former Army chief, meanwhile, head-on condemned hazing. Social Welfare head Rolando Bautista, a member of the PMA "Sandiwa" class of 1985, blasted the tradition, saying it's a "complexity" for PMA cadets.
"Kasi pwedeng mahina ang katawan mo dahil nag-exercise ka o masyado kang napuyat kahit sa pagpupuyat. So ayun ang sinasabi kong complication sa kadete sa PMA,"
Despite popular vote against hazing, however, Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa claimed that it's a mandatory culture in the PMA for "warriors."
“Just imagine, kung itong mga civilian universities mayroong hazing, mas more ang military academy. Imagine-in ninyo. Tine-train ang mga tao diyan para maging warriors,” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa, also a former PNP chief, said that while Dormitorio’s death was “another case of shattered dreams,” his case was “isolated.”