Brawner bares tools in PMA war vs hazing: Mental healthcare, honor code
BAGUIO, Philippines – The Philippine Military Academy new Commandant of Cadets Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr on Saturday, September 28, bared his solutions to hazing in the PMA following the death of another cadet.
"I immediately declared a war against hazing. I told all cadets that I expect every one of them to tow the line, so we should all declare a war against hazing," Brawner told reporters in an ambush interview at Fort del Pilar
According to Brawner, this so-called war on the culture of violence would be stopped with the help of a renewed honor code, trusted seniors, and better mental health. Brawner is a member of the PMA Class of 1988.
Empowering trusted seniors: Brawner said he wil first "empower" first class cadets (4th year cadets) to facilitate the regimented life of their younger counterparts. He said that this means the cadets would have more control more than tactical officers – graduates who handle cadet companies.
"We will empower the first-class men so that they themselves are the ones administrering and taking care of the corps," Brawner said.
Asked whether he was sure that none of these first classmen were complicit in hazing, he said none of them have been proven to be a part of any maltreatment or hazing, even in the case of cadet Darwin Dormitorio.
Mental healthcare: Brawner said that he wants to improve their counseling office so that cadets would remain "mentally fit."
The counseling, he said, would also help cadets who have been "traumatized" by hazing so that they would not carry violent tendencies inside and outside the academy.
The PMA cadets are set to undergo a physical examination after Dormitorio's death. If anyone is found to have been injured, Brawner said inquiries would follow immediately.
Remembering the honor code: Lastly, Brawner said the PMA's honor code must be drilled into the mind of every aspiring soldier.
He noted that throughout the years, teachings about the PMA's honor code have varied per class and company.
"We will make it uniform and we will make sure to [follow] that one," he added. – Rappler.com