Philippine National Police

Eleazar orders probe into death of PNPA cadet

Michelle Abad
Eleazar orders probe into death of PNPA cadet

POSSIBLY HAZED? PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar orders an investigation into the death of PNPA cadet Karl Magsayo.

Karl Magsayo's Facebook account

(1st UPDATE) 'We cannot claim to be products of an institution that puts premium on integrity, service, and justice if we cannot practice them on ourselves,' says top cop General Guillermo Eleazar

Philippine National Police chief General Guillermo Eleazar has ordered an investigation into the death of PNP Academy (PNPA) Cadet 3rd Class George Karl Magsayo.

The PNP said in a statement on Saturday, September 25, that charges are being prepared against Cadet Second Class Steven Ceasar Maingat, which are expected to be filed on Monday, September 27.

“Nasa kustodiya na ng Silang Municipal Police Station ang kadeteng nanakit kay Cadet 3rd Class George [Karl] Magsayo at tinitiyak ko na haharapin niya ang mga kaukulang kasong nakatakdang isampa laban sa kanya batay sa magiging resulta ng imbestigasyon,” Eleazar said.

(The cadet who hurt Cadet 3rd Class George Carl Magsayo is already in the custody of the Silang Municipal Police Station. I assure you that he would face the appropriate cases that would be filed agint him based on the results of the investigation.)

The PNP has created “Special Task Group-Magsayo” to investigate the incident.

“May mga nasawi na noon at marami na rin ang naparusahan at na-kick out sa Philippine National Police Academy dahil sa pananakit ng kapwa kadete. Kaya nakakalungkot na may ganito na namang trahedyang naganap dahil may mga iilan pa ring kadete na matitigas ang ulo at tila hindi pa rin naiitindihan ang mga patakaran at batas lalo na sa anti-hazing law,” he said.

(There were others who had died and many had been punished and kicked out of the PNPA because they hurt their fellow cadets. This is why we are saddened that we have yet another tragedy because there still some stubborn cadets who seem to still cannot understand the rules and the law, especially the anti-hazing law.)

The PNP said cadets found the 21-year-old Magsayo slumped inside a dormitory room on Thursday, September 23. They quickly alerted their officers, who then called for an ambulance, but Magsayo was pronounced dead on arrival.

The initial investigation showed that Maingat, an upperclassman, had punched Magsayo before he collapsed.

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PNPA Director Police Major General Rhoderick Armamento said that the PNPA maintains its strict no-hazing policy and that “the highest values of respect for human life and rights is inculcated among our cadets.”

“Cadets are not formed through infliction of pain and fighting, but through education, intelligent exchange of ideas, and compliance to good manners,” Eleazar said in Filipino.

“Those are the essence of learning process especially in an academic institution that trains future leaders of the BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology), the BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection), and the PNP. We cannot claim to be products of an institution that puts premium on integrity, service, and justice if we cannot practice them on ourselves,” the PNP chief added.

In a statement on Sunday, September 26, Eleazar said that he also told Armamento to review the insititution’s existing rules and regulations and academic policies and conduct.

Eleazar also extended his condolences to Magsayo’s family.

Magsayo was the latest cadet to die inside the PNPA. In July 2020, two cadets in PNPA Class of 2024 – batchmates of Magsayo – died inside the police academy.

In 2018, Rappler obtained a video showing cadets being mauled in the PNPA in 2017.

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer at Rappler. Possessing the heart and soul of a feminist, she is working on specializing in women's issues in Newsbreak, Rappler's investigative arm.