Slain PMMA cadet's chat with bro, videos from witness reveal hazing is 'normal' in campus
MANILA, Philippines — Hazing within the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) appears to be normal, based on the Facebook messenger conversations between the cadet who died and his brother and other video feeds that were shown by a lawmaker during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.
During the House of Representatives committee on higher and technical education hearing on the death of Midshipman Cadet 4th Class Cadet Jonash Bondoc, Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Lawrence Fortun showed part of the messages wherein the victim relayed his grievances about the culture of hazing in the campus, before his untimely death last July 6.
According to Fortun, Bondoc told his brother Joshua that upperclassmen subjecting younger cadets to hazing is normal. After his brother told him to just come home if he no longer wants to study with PMMA, Bondoc said that he can still bear it.
The veracity of the conversations was confirmed by Joshua and his other siblings, who were present during the hearing.
Aside from that, Fortun also showed alleged videos of PMMA cadets being subjected to hazing procedures, from being struck on their hands and to being punched on the chest — just like what happened to Bondoc.
Bondoc, 19, a native of Butuan City, died of a head injury after the suspect, Midshipman Cadet 2nd class Jomel Gloria, allegedly punched him during a “traditional recognition” of Mindanao’s underclass cadets.
Gloria admitted to punching Bondoc on the chest. However, Gloria was only charged with homicide, instead of an additional case for violating sections of Republic Act No. 11053 or the Anti-Hazing Act of 2018.