PMA says ''no foul play'' in death of cadet
The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) said there was ''no foul play'' in the death of Cadet Fourth Class Mario Telan Jr. who found at the 15-feet deep end of the swimming pool Friday.
However, Baguio police are questioning two PMA swimming instructors.
“The unfortunate incident was brought about by negligence of the instructors for failing to properly supervise and ensure the safety of the cadets and other cadets who failed to account the class after the activity.” said Police Col. Allan Rae Co, Baguio City director.
“Most probably, cases will be filed against the instructors,” said Co.
Captain Cherryl Tindog, the PMA spokesperson , said the initial investigation shows there are “administrative irregularities” as there are standard operating procedures (SOP’s) that were not followed.
“For the initial findings, we have identified the personalities involved and reviewed the CCTV (close circuit television) footage. There is no foul play but we saw some administrative irregularities,” she said.
Tindog said the PMA has ''temporarily halted the swimming classes of the cadets until such time that the incident has been properly addressed.''
Co said there were 23 fourth class cadets who attended the swimming lessons
Tindog said CCTV shows Telan was practicing for the floating phase of their practical exam.
“He was in a group with his classmates. They jumped on the deeper part of the pool for the floating phase of their practicals. By the time he jumped, it shows from the CCTV that he was not able to come out of the water,” she said.
Telan was found at the pool around 2:44 pm and rushed to the Fort del Pilar Station Hospital but was declared dead on arrival by Captain Joseph George Acosta of the PMA medical corps.
Tindog said the irregularities they noticed are related to the accounting of cadets before and after every class and proper procedures on practical examination.
“Number one, the accounting of cadets. We have the accounting before and after (every classes) from time to time because we have what we call the class marcher man,'' she said.
''The class marcher is a cadet responsible for the class in terms of completeness then he will render the report. So in that level there was an irregularity there because supposedly the class marcher should report if someone from their class is missing from time to time,” she said.
“And then we also saw that while the cadets were performing their practical exam there are other cadets practicing. So it seems that it is not organized, because supposedly if some were taking the exam others should be waiting beside the pool but what happened was everybody in the swimming pool were doing their own activities that is why no one notice what happened to Cadet Telan,” she added.
Tindog said the Philippine National Police is focusing on the administrative side of the case.
“Yes, that (possible administrative case) will be the focus of the PNP the administrative side because... their autopsy also shows that there was no foul play so they will focus on the administrative,” she said.
Tindog said PMA Superintendent Rear Adm. Allan Cusi ordered the review of the SOP’s within the academy and its implementations. Robina Asido/DMS