Friday, June 26, 2020

Alma mater of killed PMA cadet supports suspects' indictment

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 26, 2020): Alma mater of killed PMA cadet supports suspects' indictment (By Jigger Jerusalem)

JUSTICE FOR DARWIN. Members of the Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro hold a gathering to offer prayers for killed Philippine Military Academy cadet Darwin Dormitorio, an alumnus of the school, on Friday (June 26, 2020). Prosecutors indicted several suspects in the cadet's death. (Photo courtesy of Jerome Torres)

Faculty members and staff of Xavier University–Ateneo de Cagayan (XU) here staged a gathering outside the campus on Friday (June 26) to express their support on the indictment of several persons allegedly responsible in the death of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet 4th class Darwin Dormitorio.

Against the backdrop of a black streamer that calls for justice for Dormitorio’s death, the group including a handful of students offered prayers and roses to remember the life of Dormitorio.

Nestor Banuag Jr., director for Student Social Involvement and Advocacy Program at XU, said the gathering was part of the university’s effort in engaging in solidarity with Dormitorio's family and all the victims of hazing, torture, and other forms of physical maltreatment and abuse.

“This is part of our effort seven months ago. We are seeking justice for Darwin,” Banuag said.

In a recent statement, XU said: “We stand firm in our aim to abhor any act of abuse and violence, prevent torment-induced deaths, and to promote a non-aggressive campus, to serve justice to our fellow Atenean.”

Dormitorio was a senior high school graduate at XU before he enrolled at the PMA.

In a 66-page resolution signed by a three-man panel of prosecutors in Baguio City, criminal charges for violation of the Anti-Hazing Law were filed against two PMA cadets and murder charges against three medical officers of the academy.

In a phone interview Friday, Dormitorio’s elder brother, Dexter, said they are relieved with the indictment of the suspects.

“We are grateful that the prosecutors concurred with our position regarding the Anti-Hazing Law being applicable in PMA,” he said, emphasizing that “our enemy is hazing and not the institution”.

He said their family was somewhat dissatisfied with the resolution "because the Anti-Hazing law of 2008 was only selectively and partially applied despite overwhelming evidence supporting our cause against all respondents.”

“We only yearn for fair justice but at this juncture, we feel like we are already being deprived of it. Right now, we are still reviewing the resolution and we will consider all possible legal options,” he said.

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