To say we are thunderstruck, if steamed up, over the death four days ago from suspected hazing injuries of 4th class cadet Darwin Dormitorio of the Philippine Military Academy is clearly a restrained statement.


We urge the authorities to run down the events, including looking assiduously at the provisions of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, which has gone into the books as Republic Act 11053, seeking to prohibit all forms of hazing in fraternities, sororities, school- and community-based organizations.

The law also prohibits hazing in recruiting citizens’ military and army training although it was previously clarified the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police may still conduct physical, mental and psychological testing and training for prospect members on condition the referred-to training is not hazing.

Initial police investigation, which we think should be dragged out to its full stretch, suggested Dormitorio was maltreated by at least three of his fellow PMA cadets, with the PMA saying autopsy findings have ruled that blunt force trauma was the cause of Dormitorio’s death.

If the 20-year-old Dormitorio, a member of PMA Class of 2023 from Cagayan de Oro City, was indeed a victim of hazing, as it appears from initial inquiries and autopsy reports he was, what happened to the implementation of the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, only a year away from its signature by the President into the country’s jurisprudence?

If he was, this would make him the fourth victim from the Philippine Military Academy—the first in 2000, and two others in 2001 —established on Dec. 21, 1936 by virtue of Commonwealth Act № 1 or the National Defense Act to be the training school for future officers of the AFP.

But first, what is hazing? Experts say hazing—initiation ceremonies, bastardization, ragging, or deposition —refers to the practice of rituals, challenges, and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group including a new fraternity, sorority, team, or club.

We are rather nonplussed, thrown into a tizzy as it were, but we underline our earlier submission that justice must be done. Let those who violated the law, by sin of commission or by sin of omission, be properly punished, whoever they are.

Topics: Philippine Military Academy , Darwin Dormitario , Republic Act 11053 , Anti-Hazing Act of 2018
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