Amid outrage over the fatal hazing of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet Darwin Dormitorio, two other suspected cases of maltreatment have emerged.
“Two other fourth class cadets in the PMA are now confined at a military hospital, both incidents sadly are suspected to be maltreatment cases,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo confirmed in a media briefing.
The two freshmen — both classmates of Dormitorio — were brought to the hospital after also complaining of abdominal pain. One cadet was hospitalized on September 17, and the other on September 21.
Arevalo said both cadets are now in stable condition and in recovery.
The AFP official said it is not yet known if the three primary suspects in the death of Dormitorio are the same people behind the suspected maltreatment of the two other cadets.
“There are cases of maltreatment. Hindi naman maltreatment lang dahil namatay; may maltreatment pa rin kahit hindi ganiyan ang kinalabasan. Unauthorized deprivation of food, water, sleep are deemed to be maltreatment,” he said.
On September 17, Dormitorio was brought to the PMA Hospital after complaining of stomach ache, where he was diagnosed with urinary tract infection and discharged after a four-hour observation. But hours after he went back to the barracks, he started vomiting. He was found unconscious early morning the next day. He was rushed to the hospital, but was declared dead on arriival.
Three cadets are the prime suspects in his death, while authorities are looking into two other cadets as persons of interest.
Two PMA officials with “direct responsibility” over the fatal hazing of Dormitorio have been relieved pending investigation.