MANILA, Philippines – The 7 cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) implicated in the hazing, torture, and death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio will be tried by a court martial of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said PMA Commandant of Cadets Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr.
The AFP General Headquarters will convene a general court martial to try the administrative cases filed against the 7 PMA cadets, Brawner told CNN Philippines in an interview on Tuesday, October 15.
“As I learned from our judge advocate, they will be charged with Article of War 97,” Brawner said.
Article 97 of the Commonwealth-era law establishing a system of military justice for persons subject to military law states: “General Article - Though not mentioned in these articles, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, and all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the military service, shall be taken cognizance of by a general or special court-martial according to the nature and degree of the offense, and punished at the discretion of the court.”
The PMA cadets accused of hazing, torturing, and murdering Dormitorio are
They are currently detained at the PMA stockade in Baguio City.
Brawner said the court martial proceedings will run parallel to the criminal cases filed by the Dormitorio family against the 7 cadets.
It is unclear whether the PMA officers also tagged in the case will go through the same trial.
Dormitorio was found dying in his dormitory at the PMA campus, Fort General Gregorio del Pilar in Baguio City, before dawn on September 18. He died barely two hours later.
Initial investigations by the police and the PMA revealed that Dormitorio died of injuries he sustained from hazing and torture by upperclass cadets.
JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.