Commentary

It was not hazing

The proper charge seems to be just homicide, which is punishable by reclusion temporal, 12y1d to 20y imprisonment, not life imprisonment.

While we popularly call what happened as “hazing”, the crime of hazing has a very specific definition under the law. What happened cannot be considered hazing because it was not done as part of the initiation rite for or as a requirement for continuing membership in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). In fact, the Anti-Hazing Law itself explicitly excluded as hazing the practices of the PMA to determine the fitness of its cadets – certainly we expect cadets to be punished for such offenses as missing boots.

What we do not expect, of course, is that an erring cadet is maltreated, ultimately resulting to his death.

In the absence of qualifying circumstances, the death of Dormitorio could only be characterized as homicide.

3 cadets face life imprisonment

Update: I was wrong.

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