July 25, 2024

Two former cadets and three officials of the Philippine Military Academy were indicted for murder in relation to the death of the late Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio in September 2019.

The City Prosecutor’s Office has indicted for murder former cadets 1st Class Shalimar Imperial, Jr. and Felix Lumbag, Jr. and PMA Station Hospital (PMASH) medical officers, Capt. Flor Apple Apostol, Maj. Maria Ofelia Beloy, and Lt/Col. Ceasar Candelaria.

At the same time, the City Prosecutor dismissed for lack of probable cause the charges filed against two ranking PMA officials – former commandant of cadets, B/Gen. Bartolome O. Bacarro and former PMA superintendent, Lt./Gen. Ronnie S. Evangelista.

In a 64-page resolution, the City Prosecutor found that Imperial and Lumbag’s repeated physical abuses on the late Dormitorio on various dates between August and September 2019 were the main cause of the cadet’s death.

“Imperial and Lumbag intentionally and consistently beat Dormitorio and internal injuries that resulted were the proximate cause of (his) death,” a portion of the City Prosecutor resolution stated.

Aside from murder, Imperial and Lumbag were also indicted for hazing. They are among the seven cadets who were sued for Dormitorio’s death.

In finding a probable cause to indict PMASH doctors Apostol, Beloy, and Candelaria for murder, the City Prosecutor’s Office said they grossly failed to provide adequate medical care to Dormitorio, which also caused the latter‘s death.

“The doctors’ failure to provide the proper medical treatment and care were patently and unmistakably indispensable in the resulting death of their patient who was already suffering from serious internal injuries inflicted by two upperclass cadets,” the resolution stated.

It added the PMASH doctors also failed to refer Dormitorio to a higher-level hospital where he could have received further treatment.

“It was within the exclusive control of Apostol, Beloy, and PMASH chief Candelaria to have referred Dormitorio to a higher-level hospital to determine the severe extent of the cadet‘s injuries as well as the proper medical care treatment to be administered. This to us was the best thing that could have been done, which the PMASH doctors did not do.”

Meanwhile, former cadet Julius Carlo Tadena was indicted for less serious physical injuries and hazing while former cadet Christian Zacarias was charged for slight physical injuries.

The City Prosecutor dismissed for lack of probable cause the charges filed against cadets Rey Sanopao, Rey David John Volante, and John Vincent Manalo and tactical officers, Maj. Rex Bolo and Capt. Jeffrey Batistiana.

Dormitorio died on Sept. 18, 2019 after the series of maltreatment he suffered from his upperclassmen.

The Dormitorio camp is represented by their counsel, Atty. Jose Adrian Bonifacio. – Jane B. Cadalig