Dormitorio beat up over missing boots – Baguio police

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) — Darwin Dormitorio, the Philippine Military Academy cadet who succumbed to injuries from what military officials called “maltreatment,” was apparently beaten up over missing boots, police investigation revealed.

P/Col. Allen Rae Co, Baguio City police chief, said Dormitorio was entrusted to look after first class cadet Axl Ray Sanupao’s combat boots.

However, after these went missing for a week, Dormitorio was “made to report” to Sanupao and third class cadets Shalimar Imperial and Felix Lumbag, Co said.

He added that after reporting to the room of Sanupao, the three proceeded to the room of Imperial and Lumbag where the maltreatment occurred.

Imperial, Lumbag and Sanupao have all been dismissed from the PMA.

The Baguio police may file criminal charges against those involved in Dormitorio’s death between this week and next week. It is also waiting for the Dormitorio family and the Philippine National Police to act as complainants.

Dormitorio was initially rushed to the PMA hospital complaining of a stomach ache. He was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, and discharged after four hours, only for him to start vomiting hours after he returned to the barracks.

He was found unconscious the next day and was rushed back to the hospital. He was declared dead on arrival.

He was laid to rest on Wednesday at Oro Gardens Memorial Park in Cagayan de Oro City, where he was accorded full military funeral honors, including a 21-gun salute.

At the funeral service, Dormitorio’s aunt, Jean Joselyn Dioso Año, wife of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, assured those present there will be no whitewash in the probe on the cadet’s death.

Meanwhile, Mayor Omaridji Pizarro of Dormitiorio’s hometown of Kalilangan, Bukidnon urged President Rodrigo Duterte to strictly implement the anti-hazing law. Pizarro added that the Mayors League of Bukidnon will pass a resolution urging the PMA to put a stop to hazing and other forms of violence.

On Tuesday night, students of Xavier University, where Dormitorio finished senior high school and briefly took up engineering before heading to the PMA, held a prayer rally inside the campus calling for swift justice and for the suspects to be put behind bars.

A friend of Dormitorio said in an interview it is not enough that the suspects were kicked out of the PMA.

"They should be jailed for what they did to Darwin," she said.

Journalists Lauren Anuma and Alwen Saliring contributed to this report.