Baguio court orders arrest of suspects in Dormitorio case

The Baguio City Regional Trial Court (RTC) ordered the arrest of former cadets and officials of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) who were indicted for murder and hazing charges over the death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio.


The warrants dated July 7 and released on Wednesday were signed by RTC Branch 5 Judge Maria Ligaya Itliong-Rivera.


The court did not recommend bail for former cadets Shalimar G. Imperial Jr., Felix M. Lumbag Jr. while military doctors, Capt. Flor Apple A. Apostol, Maj. Maria Ofelia R. Beloy and Lt. Col. Caesar A. Candelaria were ordered to post bail of PHP200,000 each.


Last month, Baguio prosecutors ordered that the charges be filed against the cadets and former PMA officials for the death of Dormitorio.


Court records showed that Imperial and Lumbag, then third-class cadets, first assaulted Dormitorio in August 2019.


Despite numerous visits to the hospital and orders to stay away from Dormitorio, subsequent incidents occurred until Dormitorio died of injuries on the morning of September 19.


Meanwhile, Apostol, Candelaria, and Beloy, medical doctors assigned at the Fort del Pilar Station Medical Hospital who treated the victim were charged after prosecutors said they “grossly failed to provide adequate medical care to Dormitorio, which also caused the latter’s death.”


In a statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it has yet to receive a copy of the warrant of arrest issued by the court.


“The AFP’s Judge Advocate General will attend to the matter and give (the) appropriate recommendation to the AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr. as to the disposition of the named cadets,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said.


He also confirmed that six PMA cadets involved in the incident are under the custody of the AFP General Headquarters.


“They are now facing trial before a General Court Martial for violation of Article of War 97 Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline,” he added.


Arevalo also assured that the PMA will take appropriate action on the officers named in the warrant.


“We once more commit to the court that we will cooperate and, when needed, assist in the swift dispensation of justice. We owe it to the people–especially to the parents of the late Cadet Darwin Dormitorio—and the community of PMA Alumni,” he said.


Arevalo confirmed that upon verification with PMA, only Beloy remains in the academy.


“The two other medical officers were already relieved from PMA. They are Lieutenant Colonel Caesar Candelaria who was, per orders, re-assigned to Camp Aguinaldo while Captain Flor Apple Apostol, per orders, was reassigned to the Philippine Air Force,” he said.


Source: Philippines News Agency


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