Philippines military - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Philippines military


[ANALYSIS] COVID-19 and civil-military relations in the PH: Getting the balance right

Jun 29, 2020 - 3:34 PM

'While it is reasonable to say that the role of the AFP in the government’s COVID-19 response has been substantial, there are two risks that could affect civil-military relations during this pandemic period'

PMA adopts distancing to prevent COVID-19 – and hazing

Jun 27, 2020 - 8:05 AM

The Philippine Military Academy has adopted segregation of classes since its reopening in mid-June

BEAST BARRACKS. The Philippine Military Academy's reception of this year's plebes. Photo from the PMA website.

PMA Cadet Dormitorio’s family ‘dissatisfied’ with prosecutor’s resolution

Jun 25, 2020 - 7:12 PM

'We only yearn for fair justice but at this juncture, we feel like we are already being deprived of it,' says the victim's brother after prosecutors dismissed charges against some suspects in Darwin Dormitorio's hazing and murder

DARWIN DORMITORIO. Philippine Miltary Academy Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio. Photo from Dormitorio's Facebook page

2 cadets, 3 PMA doctors indicted for murder in Dormitorio death

Jun 24, 2020 - 9:15 PM

Baguio prosecutors rule that although the doctors are not 'co-conspirators,' past cases support an indictment of murder 'by indispensable cooperation through acts of negligence'

JUSTICE FOR DORMITORIO. Darwin Dormitorio's batchmates together with college students hold a Candle Lighting vigil in commemoration with the 40th day of Darwin's death on Oct 28, 2019 held at the people's Park and PMA gate. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

[OPINION] The Philippine military and its hypocrisy

Jun 09, 2020 - 10:30 AM

Who is the biggest recruiter for the communist movement? Surely the generals know?

‘Terror law’: The pet bill of the generals

Jun 05, 2020 - 5:20 PM

‘You don’t deserve that kind of power. No one does,’ a farmers' party-list representative tells the military, referring to the proposed Anti-Terror Act of 2020, which is up for President Duterte's signature

SECURITY CLUSTER. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in a huddle with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr in this file photo from May 6, 2019. Photo by Rey Baniquet/Malacañang

LOOK: PMA prepares for safe arrival of incoming cadets amid pandemic

Jun 03, 2020 - 12:31 PM

The incoming members of Class 2024 are subjected to health guidelines prescribed by the national government, including quarantine and PCR tests, before they head to the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. The Philippine Military Academy is currently processing the safe arrival of the 350 incoming cadets of Class 2024 in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City, under the existing COVID-19 guidelines established by the national government. Photos courtesy of TF 'Pagsundo'/WESCOM/ NOLCOM

[ANALYSIS] Philippine defense spending 2019: What’s in the data?

May 28, 2020 - 4:00 PM

'The Philippines has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years, but a sharp slowdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could upend planned defense spending'

Yet again, Duterte rewards PMA, PNPA valedictorians with house and lot

May 22, 2020 - 10:12 PM

The class goat, the least-rated cadet from either academy, gets a gun from the Commander-in-Chief

MILITARY CADETS. File photo of Philippine Military Academy cadets. PMA file photo

5 female cadets make it to top 10 of PMA Masidlawin Class of 2020

May 22, 2020 - 2:31 PM

Of the 196 members of the PMA Class of 2020, 23 are women

FEMALE TOPNOTCHERS. The female topnotchers of PMA Masidlawin Class 2020. Photo courtesy of PMA

Meet the top 3 of PMA 'Masidlawin' Class of 2020

May 22, 2020 - 11:51 AM

Cadet 1st Class Gemalyn Deocares Sugui, Cadet 1st Class Jade Campo Villanueva, and Cadet 1st Class Jefferson Yamson Salazar are from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, respectively

PMA TOP 3. Salutatoria Cadet First Class Jade Villanueva, Valedictorian Cadet First Class Gemalyn Deocares Sugui, and 3rd placer Cadet First Class Jefferson Yamson Salazar. Photos courtesy of PMA

Female cadet from Isabela tops PMA ‘Masidlawin’ class of 2020

May 22, 2020 - 8:59 AM

Cadet 1st Class Gemalyn Deocares Sugui and her 195 batchmates will graduate in a 'simple and private' ceremony as the Philippine Military Academy remains closed to the public – even to cadets' families – because of the coronavirus pandemic

TOPNOTCHER. Cadet 1st Class Gemalyn Deocares Sugui of Echague, Isabela, tops the Philippine Military Academy 'Masidlawin' Class of 2020. Photo from PMA

Filipina graduates with honors from U.S. Naval Academy

May 16, 2020 - 8:54 AM

‘I want to end my cadetship here at the USNA on a very good note. I’m not representing myself, I'm representing the Philippine military,’ says Midshipman First Class Mary Pauline Fornea

MISTAH. Midshipman First Class Mary Pauline Fornea, an original member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 2019, receives her diploma from the US Naval Academy in Maryland. Photo courtesy of May Pauline Fornea

Parents can't attend PMA Class 2020 graduation rites on May 22

May 14, 2020 - 4:36 PM

The graduation rites will be closed to the public, according to PMA spokesperson Marine Captain Cherryl Tindog

SHAKU. The graduates throw their 'shaku' after the ceremony. Photo by Mau Victa/ Rappler

U.S. State Department approves possible sale of attack helicopters to PH

May 01, 2020 - 7:31 PM

To give the Philippine military a much-needed boost in air power, the government is looking to buy 6 attack helicopters from US-based suppliers

ATTACK HELICOPTERS. The AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter by Bell Helicopters. Photo from the Bell Helicopters website

Young military officer in Bulacan dies from respiratory disease

Apr 09, 2020 - 1:43 PM

Army 2Lt Vince Magbanua is a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 2018. 'He is looked up to by his superiors, peers and subordinates for his dedication, commitment, and idealism,' says the military

Young soldier killed while conducting coronavirus info drive, says military

Apr 07, 2020 - 5:00 PM

The slain soldier, Private First Class Mark Nemis, belongs to the 301st 'Bayanihan' Infantry Brigade based in Camp Hernandez in Iloilo. He was only 24 years old.

[OPINION] Why is the military taking the lead in the National Action Plan?

Mar 27, 2020 - 8:34 PM

The Bayanihan law that was signed to address the coronavirus directs a multi-pronged government strategy

Police, military 'helped syndicates' bring in P18.7 billion to Philippines

Mar 02, 2020 - 4:45 PM

The Bureau of Customs says couriers of dirty money working for two criminal groups were able to waltz through airport security with police and military escorts

War with the NPA, war without end

Feb 29, 2020 - 11:00 AM

From our archives: The Philippine military is treading dangerous waters with its counterinsurgency experiments

NPA rebels in Pampanga.

PMA to honor Lacson, Honasan

Feb 20, 2020 - 6:42 PM

This year's PMA Alumni Homecoming on Saturday is a private affair because of the threat of the COVID-19

HONOREES. Sen. Panfilo Lacson during the Senate hearing on the amendment of the Anti-Terrorism bill on October 1, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Duterte: Military to instill order if coronavirus outbreak becomes pandemic

Feb 10, 2020 - 9:28 PM

Duterte also says that while the government was 'on top' of the coronavirus threat, doctors should work double-time to find a virus cure

PRESIDENT'S ORDERS. President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-appointed government officials at the Malacañang Palace on February 6, 2020. Malacañang photo

PMA alumni homecoming postponed because of novel coronavirus

Feb 06, 2020 - 7:54 AM

Originally set for February 14 and 15, the yearly event has been pushed back to February 22, says the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association

NO VISITORS. The Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City was closed to the general public for 3 weeks starting January 31 amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. File photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

No lockdown in Baguio City, but PMA homecoming may still be postponed

Feb 05, 2020 - 2:43 PM

A statement by defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana says Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong ordered a citywide lockdown. Magalong, however, denies it.

More than 6000 alumni from the PMA attended the less political reunion at the Borromeo Field after the PMAAI banned adopted members from joining. Senator JV Ejercito, however, managed to join together with alumni Rogelio Dela Rosa (Class 86) and Gary Alejano (Class 95). Guest speaker Roy Cimatu (Class 1970) reminisced about the pine trees along the way and said they were more numerous and verdant then. He also called for the regreening of Baguio. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Lorenzana favors postponing PMA alumni homecoming to avert novel coronavirus

Feb 04, 2020 - 11:41 PM

'We deem it prudent to avoid situations where the health and safety of our cadets, PMA alumni, and their families are put at risk,' says the defense chief

PREMIER MILITARY ACADEMY. The facade of the Philippine Military Academy building in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City. Photo by Pediapediahan/Wikimedia Commons

Murder case filed vs alleged gunman in PMA imam killing

Jan 06, 2020 - 8:28 PM

The Baguio City Prosecutor's Office identifies the gunman as 44-year-old Joselito Fernando Vidad

POPULAR IMAM. 'Doing my daily runs aboard Blacktrekker; my mechanical horse,' Bedejim Abdullah says in his caption to this photo he posted on his Facebook page on November 28, 2018. File photo from Bedejim Abdullah's Facebook page

Quickie generals: The military's revolving door needs to be shut

Jan 04, 2020 - 8:34 AM

(UPDATED) Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the AFP ‘could have done better’ if its top commanders served for at least 3 years, instead of the usual one year or less

LOOK UP. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, President Rodrigo Duterte, and General Noel Clement watching a drone show during the Armed Forces of the Philippines' 84th founding anniversary ceremony on December 17, 2019. Photo by Richard Madelo/Presidential Photo

PMA fires swimming instructors of cadet who drowned during class

Nov 22, 2019 - 2:24 PM

The civilian instructors are found guilty of 'negligence and imprudence' that led to the death of Cadet 4th Class Mario Telan Jr on November 8

PMA CAMPUS. The Philippine Military Academy, Fort General Gregorio del Pilar, in Baguio City. Photo from the PMA Facebook page

Army appeals release of 31 arrested in crackdown on progressive groups

Nov 15, 2019 - 9:42 AM

The 31 include 21 laid off workers of a bus company and 10 young members of a grassroots cultural group

RELEASED. Some of the 21 terminated workers who were earlier accused as members of the New People's Army, with their lawyer, Jose Max Ortiz (right), at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr in Bacolod City on November 6, 2019/Photo by Marchel Espina

Military nurse stabbed dead in Makati City

Nov 14, 2019 - 5:24 PM

The suspect, John Louie Brosas, is a 19-year-old construction worker, whom the victim, 2nd Lieutenant Jennett Beron Aguilar, had been helping after taking pity on him

VICTIM. 2nd Lieutenant Jennett Beron Aguilar is stabbed in the chest after the suspect, whom she knew, stole her mobile phone. Photo from Makati police

CA confirms Clement as AFP chief, Cusi as PMA superintendent

Nov 13, 2019 - 8:48 PM

AFP chief Lt Gen Noel Clement believes martial law in Mindanao should no longer be extended beyond 2019

CONFIRMED. AFP Chief of Staff Lt Gen Noel Clement (L) and PMA Superintendent Rear Admiral Allan Cusi (RA) gets CA nod. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

PMA cadet drowns, found in pool after swimming class

Nov 08, 2019 - 7:48 PM

(UPDATED) Cadet 4th Class Mario Telan Jr was found 'in the 15-foot deep end of the pool' hours after his swimming class, says the Philippine Military Academy


PMA cadet dies of cancer – spokesperson

Oct 28, 2019 - 3:09 PM

(UPDATED) Cadet 2nd Class Cedrick Gadia, from Candon, Ilocos Sur, dies of stage IV esophageal cancer on his father's birthday

PREMIER MILITARY ACADEMY. The facade of the Philippine Military Academy building in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City. Photo by Pediapediahan/Wikimedia Commons

Military chief disagrees with call to halt PMA cadet recruitment

Oct 25, 2019 - 10:21 PM

This, after a lawmaker called for a yearlong ban on freshman enrollments at the country's premier military school, following reports of 27 alleged hazing cases including some recorded on video

EFFORTS ENOUGH? Military chief Lieutenant General Noel Clement declined a lawmaker's call to halt cadet recruitment at the Philippine Military Academy, where more cases of alleged hazing were recently discovered. File photo by DARREN LANGIT

WATCH: Hazing inside the PMA barracks

Oct 23, 2019 - 4:54 PM

The videos prove that hazing 'happens in PMA,' the military says as it vows strong efforts to end the practice in the country's premier military school

HAZING IN BARRACKS. Screenshot from a sourced video showing PMA cadets hazing fellow cadets in their dormitory inside campus

7 PMA cadets tagged in Dormitorio’s death to be court martialed

Oct 15, 2019 - 4:17 PM

Court martial proceedings will run parallel to criminal cases filed against the cadets accused of hazing, torturing, and murdering the 20-year-old plebe

COMMANDANT. Brigadier General Romeo Brawner speaks to reporters at the Philippine Military Academy. Photo by Nappy Manegdeg/Rappler

When to quit

Oct 14, 2019 - 9:00 PM

When does resignation become an act of courage and a show of character? When does it serve the greater good?

Highest-ranking PMA cadet resigns over Dormitorio's death

Oct 09, 2019 - 11:01 PM

Cadet 1st Class Ram Michael Navarro, the brigade commander of the cadet corps or the class baron of PMA Masidlawin Class of 2020, cites command responsibility for his decision

'COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY.' Cadet 1st Class Ram Michael Navarro, the class baron of PMA Masidlawin Class of 2020, resigns on Wednesday, October 9. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Criminal complaints filed vs 7 suspects in PMA cadet Dormitorio's hazing death

Oct 08, 2019 - 6:30 PM

'I would like to tell my brother, this is just Part I of the battle. We will not stop hanggang hindi napapanagot ang lahat,' says Dexter Dormitorio

[OPINION] Enough of words! Hazing needs no new solution

Oct 05, 2019 - 2:58 PM

Every solution to hazing at the Philippine Military Academy has been tried and found wanting. What should be done?

PMA’s record of hazing deaths

Oct 04, 2019 - 8:27 AM

(UPDATED) On the flipside of the Philippine Military Academy’s proud history of churning out military and police generals is a list of cadets who died as a result of hazing

COURAGE, INTEGRITY, LOYALTY. Cadets at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City are now honor-bound to tell if they have experienced or perpetrated hazing. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Dormitorio family: We seek justice for Darwin, and more

Oct 03, 2019 - 4:31 PM

‘We also want to preserve the reputation of the institution…. This is for the kids who want to join the academy in the future,’ says the victim's brother, Dexter Dormitorio

'Have heart and soul,' new PMA chief tells cadets

Oct 01, 2019 - 9:10 PM

Rear Admiral Allan Cusi formally takes his post two weeks after the gruesome death of a cadet exposed the horrors of hazing within the Philippines' premier military school

HEART AND SOUL. Rear Admiral Allan Cusi addresses cadets as he takes over as superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City on October 1, 2019. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Hazing? What hazing?

Oct 01, 2019 - 8:00 PM

We are all under siege, all on trial over Darwin Dormitorio's death and over his classmates’ and schoolmates’ participation in the everyday steps that led him to his last vomit

Police probe shows Dormitorio’s life inside PMA was living hell

Sep 30, 2019 - 7:19 PM

(UPDATED) Darwin Dormitorio was barely 21 days at the Philippine Military Academy when his ordeal – which would lead to his death – started

[OPINION] Fraternities are insecure men’s clubs

Sep 30, 2019 - 3:30 PM

You have to be really insecure to want to sacrifice your morals just to make sure you have a safety blanket when you graduate

Brawner bares tools in PMA war vs hazing: Mental healthcare, honor code

Sep 28, 2019 - 12:10 PM

Brigadier General Romeo Brawner, the new PMA Commandant of Cadets, bares his battle plan for his so-called war against hazing

COMMANDANT. Brigadier General Romeo Brawner speaks to reporters at the Philippine Military Academy. Photo by Nappy Manegdeg/Rappler

AFP appoints new PMA superintendent, commandant of cadets

Sep 26, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr 'declares war on hazing,' as the military grapples with the fatal hazing of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio

WAR ON HAZING. Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr has been appointed PMA Commandant of Cadets to replace Brigadier General Bartolome Bacarro who resigned. Brawner says he is "declaring war on hazing." File photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

'Darwin died a hero': Hundreds pay tribute to PMA cadet in Cagayan de Oro

Sep 25, 2019 - 7:11 PM

Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio dreamed to be a 'changemaker' – a dream many believe he achieved in his brief life

soldiers from the Army's 4th Infantry Division carries the casket of Philippine Military Academy Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio at the Cagayan de Oro Gardens in Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

3rd PMA cadet hospitalized for suspected hazing – AFP

Sep 25, 2019 - 10:23 AM

Three cadets from the country's premier military school are recuperating from injuries sustained from suspected hazing

PREMIER MILITARY ACADEMY. The facade of the Philippine Military Academy building in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City. Photo by Pediapediahan/Wikimedia Commons