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Another PMA cadet dies of hazing

- by Aurora Alambra () - April 8, 2001 - 12:00am
BAGUIO CITY — Black Saturday came early to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) at Fort del Pilar here.

Another fourth class cadet reportedly died of hazing at the elite PMA while undergoing treatment at the Baguio General Hospital (BGH).

Monico de Guzman became the second cadet in just one month to succumb to a severe beating by upper classmen.

A classmate of De Guzman, identified as Mark Anthony Caraan, was also taken to the BGH where he is currently fighting for his life.

BGH authorities and doctors clammed up as The STAR tried to interview them regarding the case of the two plebes who were among a batch of 165 young men who entered the PMA only last week.

Efforts to talk to PMA Superintendent Maj. Gen. Manuel Carranza also proved futile as he was reportedly out of his office and his cellular phone was switched off.

De Guzman reportedly died at 4:20 a.m. yesterday. His death came barely two weeks after President Arroyo, addressing the PMA graduation, called on the academy officials and upper class cadets to permanently stop hazing as a ritual to instill discipline among neophytes.

Last March 10, Cadet Edward Domingo, 23, a native of Camiling, Tarlac reportedly died of cardio-respiratory attack due to injuries he suffered from hard blows to the lower part of the rib cage.

PMA tradition has it that new entrants undergo hazing dubbed as "beast attack" for months.

The PMA officials defended it as a way of instilling "homogeneity of the military" where everybody is placed on equal footing, regardless of the cadets’ social standing, family background or economic status.

A PMA press statement issued on April 2, a day after De Guzman’s batch was admitted into the school, said the "beast attack" was meant to indoctrinate the cadets with the military traditions, heritage and general knowledge of the academy and the Armed Forces as a whole.

Junior cadets (third year) were being assigned to handle the basic training of the newcomers, to be assisted by the yearlings (sophomores).

The training puts great emphasis on leadership by example and respect for human rights.

"Let me remind the PMA that hazing must never be repeated. Violence is never a desirable option, even if justified in the context of war. Senseless acts lead to senseless pain. Hazing is now illegal and prohibited," the President had said in her speech.

She called on the PMA officials and cadets to "lead by example in rejecting hazing."

ARMED FORCES BAGUIO GENERAL HOSPITAL BLACK SATURDAY CADET EDWARD DOMINGO DE GUZMAN LAST MARCH MANUEL CARRANZA MARK ANTHONY CARAAN PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY PMA
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