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President Rodrigo Duterte to consider PMA heads and school authorities criminally accountable for allowing hazing


In Manila, Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte express anger by the death of 20-year-old Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet Darwin Dormitorio due to alleged hazing. there would be no need for the President to issue any directives to the PMA since authorities already know how to handle such incidents.
Last year, Duterte even signed into law the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018 (Republic Act No. 11053) to ensure that all practices of hazing are checked and all practitioners thereof are penalized
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President is confident that authorities will prosecute those involved in what he described as “an oppressive act”.
Of course he’s angry about what happened. You know the President, he’s one man who is always outraged by any kind of oppression; and hazing is an oppressive act, because you hurt someone intentionally. It could even be classified as murder if someone dies. Of course, he doesn’t want that” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“We are confident that our authorities would implement this new law as they leave no stone unturned in the ongoing investigation on Mr. Dormitorio's untimely demise,” he added.
In a statement, the Palace official hailed the PMA for helping Baguio police identify upperclassmen as persons of interest or suspects and are now investigating the incident in coordination with government authorities
Panelo also expressed condolences to Dormitorio’s bereaved family, friends, classmates, and loved ones.
On Sunday, the PNP said it was already considering as suspects the three third-class cadets who were earlier identified as persons of interest in the death of Dormitorio due to blunt force trauma last Sept. 16.
“I think the superiors in that Academy should be held accountable, from the top to the bottom who are supposed to know what is happening in their Academy. If they cannot stop the hazing, then they have no business staying in their positions. They should be charged administratively, if not criminally,” Panelo said in an interview over ANC.
“How come there is still hazing there, I cannot even understand that. When you are the boss, then you should be telling your underlings, ‘I will not allow it. I’ll fire all of you or I’ll put you to jail.’ But if you are not … if you’re a weak boss, then this will happen,” he added.
He said he would personally ask Congress to consider amending the existing law to make PMA heads and school authorities criminally accountable for allowing hazing to happen within academic institutions.
“That is precisely why personally I’m suggesting that there must be a law that will make the heads, like the PMA, accountable criminally,” Panelo said.
Panelo, who also experienced hazing and other forms of corporal punishment when he was a law student, said he also supported Rodriguez’s proposal to classify hazing as a heinous crime.
"If you classify hazing as a heinous and make heads and all members, hazing will stop,” Panelo said.
“One life lost is one too many. Let this tragic incident be the last case of shattered dream. Let us put a stop to all forms of hazing,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said.
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