PNPA told to review protocols after cadet dies from punches

PNPA told to review protocols after cadet dies from punches
Cadets of the Philippine National Police Academy are seen in this file photo.
The STAR / Joven Cagande

MANILA, Philippines — The chief of the Philippine National Police directed the leadership of the PNP Academy to review and adjust its policies in response to a cadet's death after a senior cadet punched him repeatedly.

In a statement sent to reporters, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said that an investigation is being conducted regarding the death of Cadet 3rd Class George Carl Magsayo. 

Citing earlier reports, Eleazar said that on September 23, Magsayo’s upperclassman, Cadet Second Class Steve Ceasar Maingat, "punched him at least five times" which caused Magsayo to collapse. 

Magsayo was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

The PNP chief said he issued the order to Police Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Armamento, PNPA director, and Police Brig. Gen. Arthur Bisnar, head of the PNP Directorate for Human Resources and Doctrine Development.

Eleazar said the directive was made "to further strengthen the moral foundation of our cadets in the PNPA."

"We want to know where else we are lacking and we also want to understand why despite the stern warning, it happened again and even led to the death of a cadet," said Eleazar.

Hazing is illegal in the Philippines but is part of a culture entrenched in many institutions like fraternities as well as academies like the PNPA, the Philippine Military Academy and Philippine Merchant Marine Academy. The practice of subjecting cadets and initiates to physical and mental stress is believed to test their resolve and to foster a sense of fellowship and common loyalty. 

The PNP chief assured the public, "especially the parents of the police cadets, that the PNP will never promote the culture of hazing or any form of action that will inflict harm to the cadets inside the academy."

Eleazar said if this would not be corrected, malpractices might also be done while they enter the police force. 

"The PNP is [one] with [the public in desiring to] eradicate the culture of pain and bruising in the PNPA because we believe that if it is not done early they will carry this wrong and dangerous mentality when they enter the PNP, [Bureau of Jail Management and Penology], and [Bureau of Fire Protection] and eventually become a problem," he said.

Eleazar said that the PNPA is maintaining a strict “No To Hazing Policy."

Cadet Maingat is in the custody of the Silang Municipal Police Station pending further investigation. — Franco Luna

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