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Darwin Dormitorio’s last days and final hours

"Mahirap talaga dito sa Regular Corps at naiisip ko na mag-resign na lang after every endorsement na nagagawa ko.”

These were the words of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio in his last few diary entries before his death.

After months of repeated maltreatment by his fellow cadets that led to his hospitalization from August 20 to 27, Dormitorio suffered his worst blows on September 17, according to investigations conducted by the Baguio City police.

Below is an updated timeline provided by the Baguio City police to on Monday, September 30 and posted by GMA News' Raffy Tima to Twitter.

August 19: Spent allowance

Third-class cadets Felix Lumbag Jr. and Shalimar Imperial, and another cadet, John Vincent Manolo, ordered Dormitorio to do exercises in his room. 

Later Lumbag punched the plebe several times, and then he and Imperial kicked Dormitorio for allegedly spending half of his allowance of P4,000, which was "supposed to be used for their needs," said the report. The abuse lasted for more than 20 minutes, during which Dormitorio fell several times.

READ: Abuse of Darwin just 'frolics,' suspects said

August 20-27: Hospitalization

Dormitorio was admitted to the PMA Station Hospital (PMASH) with a diagnosis of "multiple soft tissue hematoma, abdomen and back: partial thickness burn-healed, left shoulder." He was confined for eight days.

August 28: Hit in the face

Imperial hit Dormitorio in the face, "causing his nose to bleed profusely."

September 6: Swollen jaw

Dormitorio was brought to the hospital again, this time for "respiratory tract infection; soft tissue contusion, chest area."  His roommates said that the plebe had been taken to PMASH for a toothache and a swollen jaw.

September 14: Suffocating

The police report for this date reads:

"Imperial, Lumbag and Manalo maltreated 4CL Dormitorio by covering his face with a dress cap cover (thick plastic) with rubbing alcohol sprayed in it. Likewise, they tied his hands behind his nape and a soft boom (walis tambo) inserted on his arms and neck. While lying, they firmly held his upper body and legs to prevent him from moving.

"4CL Dormitorio was shouting continuously in pain and was suffocating. Cadet Manalo then cautioned them to stop when Cadet Dormitorio was already getting to loud but they did not mind him.

"1CL Witness A then saw them while he was on the ledge thru the window and made them stop what they were doing to 4CL Dormitorio.

"The succeeding days, the 'buddies' were ordered by Cadet Witness A as 'off-limits' from 4CL Dormitorio and they can no longer supervise him."

READ: Plastic bag placed over Dormitorio’s head after beating

September 17: Missing boots

At 4:30 a.m., Dormitorio joined the Corps Duty Exercise for 40 minutes, during which time he was able to perform all the exercises.

At 6:53 a.m., Cadet 1st Class Axl Rey Sanopao ordered him to return a pair of boots that were entrusted to him by the upperclassman.

When the plebe could not produce the boots, Sanopao "entrusted" Dormitorio to "the care" of Lumbag Imperial for punishment.

The two brought Dormitorio to their room and are believed to have then beaten the freshman. When Sanopao called out again for Dormitorio, the plebe came out of the room "shivering and in pain."

Sanopao told Dormitorio, "Ba't parang cool na cool ka?" He then ordered Dormitorio to do squat thrusts, but the plebe could only do five of them as he was in pain.

A few minutes later, Witness B, a Cadet 1st Class, said he saw Dormitorio in the hallway and asked him what happened to him. Darwin said he was not feeling well.

Witness B then commanded Dormitorio to go into his squad leader Cadet Christian Zacarias's room, where Dormitorio fell asleep on the bed.

September 17: Kicked when he was down

About an hour later at 8:30 a.m., 2CL Witnesses C, D, and E and Zacarias entered the room. Zacarias asked Dormitorio why he was in his bunk but Dormitorio did not reply.

Witness F answered for him, telling Zacarias that Witness B had ordered Dormitorio to go in the room. 

Zacarias pulled Dormitorio from the bed, but the latter could not stand and was noticeably in pain, holding his stomach. He fell to the floor, where Zacarias kicked him more than five times on the right side of his body.

At 8:40 a.m., Zacarias told Echo Company Commander 1CL Lucas that Dormitorio needed to be brought to the hospital. The ambulance picked up Dormitorio at 9:05 a.m. and he was admitted to PMASH at 9:15 a.m.

September 17: Treated for UTI

Attending physician Flor Apple Apostol, who has since been relieved from service, only diagnosed Dormitorio with a urinary tract infection.

The former commanding officer of PMASH, who was relieved in the wake of Dormitorio's death, continues to maintain that Dormitorio only had a UTI when he was brought to the hospital.

He was released from the hospital at 4:25 p.m. and was seen by Witnesses G, H and I.

At 5 p.m., Dormitorio was back in his room (Room 209), where his roommates observed that he was "weak, pale and 'matamlay.'"

At 5:30 p.m., Dormitorio was left alone in Room 209 as Witnesses F and J left for the mess hall. When they came back at 6:20 p.m., they saw him asleep.

September 17: Kicked in the head

At 6:30 p.m., 3CL Rey David John Volante saw Dormitorio sitting on the floor pulling his pants down. Volante "slightly kicked" Dormitorio in the forehead to make him move faster. The report said that Volante was unaware that Dormitorio was sick in quarters (SIQ).

At 7:15 p.m., the 3CL Duty Cadet went to Dormitorio's room and found him sleeping. He told Dormitorio to sleep when they were on duty in Lopez Hall.

At 7:30 p.m., Lumbag and Imperial showed Witness J a video of Dormitorio and portrayed him as "'malingering' (significant exaggeration of physical or psychological symptoms)."

September 17: 'Nakatay'

A few minutes later, Dormitorio reported to Company Tactical Officer Captain Batistiana with Witness J.

At 7:40 p.m., Dormitorio vomited in the restroom, telling Witness B that he was "nakatay," or maltreated, by Lumbag and Imperial. He went back to his room, where Witness J told him about the video and that Imperial warned that Dormitorio would be reported for "deceiving."

At 9:35 p.m., Dormitorio was left in his room as his roommates Witnesses F and J went on duty.

At 9:45 p.m., Dormitorio was seen in the hallway by his squad leader 3CL Termil, who told him to change into a general athletic uniform. Dormitorio went back to his room.

At 10:30 p.m., Sanopao saw Dormitorio in the hallway and called for him. Sanopao showed him to 2nd Class and 3rd Class cadets, telling them that Dormitorio was in improper uniform.

Witness B told Dormitorio to go back to Room 209. The report said that Dormitorio was "not moving like a normal plebe"—not quickly, as plebes apparently should be in the presence of an upperclassman. He also did not greet them.

At 10:33 p.m. Dormitorio went back to his room, but at 10:35 p.m. was seen outside the Club Room, looking in at other fourth-class cadets who were inside.

September 17: Tasered

At 10:40 p.m., a 4CL cadet and 3CL Julius Carlo Tadena entered Room 209, where Tadena tasered Witness F. When Dormitorio arrived, Tadena tasered Witness F again and then tasered Dormitorio. He told them that they were shouting "like girls" and called them a homophobic slur.

According to one of the witnesses, Tadena also ordered Dormitorio to kiss a fellow cadet.

Baguio City police chief Police Colonel Allen Co confirmed to GMA News Online that the device used on Dormitorio was a flashlight with a built-in taser, and that it was used on Dormitorio’s genitals.

After reporting to Cadet Termil at his room, Dormitorio and Witnesses F and J returned to Room 209, where at 11 p.m. Dormitorio complained of stomach pains. He said he could not lie down or find a comfortable position.

September 18: Final hours

At 12:30 a.m., Dormitorio vomited again. Witness F called Zacarias to the room, where he gave the plebe medicine, toasted bread and water.

At 12:45 a.m., Lieutenant Quibilan visited the room, where Dormitorio was lying in bed. Quibilan ordered Zacarias to leave.

Zacarias left and came back at 1 a.m. with more food and water for Dormitorio, but at 1:05 a.m. Dormitorio vomited twice.

At 3 a.m., Dormitorio "was seen in a kneeling position with his head resting on the floor."

At 3:20 a.m., Dormitorio sitting on the floor, his back and head resting against the study table.

At 3:40 a.m., Duty Sentinel 3CL Cadet arrived at the room and turned on the light. Witnesses F and J stood up, but Dormitorio "remained sitting on the floor, motionless."

He was "unresponsive, he had no pulse and was not breathing."

By 3:45 a.m., other cadets had arrived to check on Dormitorio. Five minutes later, an ambulance arrived to take him to PMASH.

At 4 a.m., Dormitorio arrived at the hospital, where they tried to revive him.

Dormitorio was pronounced dead at 5:15 a.m.

Coming home

Last Wednesday morning, Dormitorio's family and friends gathered in his hometown of Cagayan de Oro to say goodbye as he was laid to rest.

A day earlier, Philippine Military Academy Superintendent Lieutenant General Ronnie Evangelista and commandant of cadets Brigadier General Bartolome Bacarro resigned.

Newly installed commandant of cadets of the PMA Brigadier General Romeo Brawner, Jr. has vowed to “wage war” against hazing in light of Dormitorio’s death.

As of Sept. 29, authorities have identified seven suspects who will be charged with violation of the Anti-Hazing Law and murder. — Julia Mari T. Ornedo/BM, GMA News