Malacañang said it was “bothered” by the death of a fourth class cadet who drowned in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) swimming pool, stressing that military instructors should reassess their protocols to prevent a repeat of the incident.
“We’re bothered by the death of another plebe who could be an outstanding military officer if he were able to finish his course,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“The military instructors especially on the swimming side should reassess their protocols so that they can provide safety to their trainees,” he added.
Reports showed that Cadet 4th Class Mario Telan attended his 11 a.m. swimming class but was not seen in his next classes. He was later found in the 15-foot deep end of the pool.
PMA spokesperson, Capt. Cheryl Tindog said efforts were done to revive Telan and he was immediately transferred to Fort del Pilar Station Hospital but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.
Panelo acknowledged that initial findings showed that there was no foul play. However, authorities are looking at the negligence of the instructors.
“Kasi parang nag-fail yata ‘yung kadete sa unang trial. So, kung nag-fail ‘yun, kung instructor ka dapat hindi mo muna pinatuloy ‘yung kaniyang training. So, tinitingnan nila ‘yung aspect na ‘yun (Because I think the cadet failed the first trial. So if he failed, if you’re the instructor, you shouldn’t have allowed him to continue his training. So they’re looking into that aspect),” Panelo said.
At present, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is investigating Telan’s death to determine if it was an accidental drowning.
Telan is the third cadet to pass away in a matter of months.
Last September 18, Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio died from injuries from alleged hazing and torture.
Dormitorio’s death prompted PMA Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista and Cadet Corps Commandant, Brig. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro to resign from their posts.
On October 28, Cadet 2nd Class Cedrick Gadia died from esophageal cancer at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Hospital. (PNA)