Entrust your life to someone who doesn’t even know how to take care of his own boots?

While a number of more eligible teenagers are dropping out of school for failure to pay their tuition fees, Philippine Military Academy (PMA) students are being subsidized by the taxpayers’ money just to build a better, disciplined, and more knowledgeable armed force. According to Senator Raplh Recto, the Filipino people is spending P2.982 million for each PMA graduate as against the P507,000 being spent to produce a UP graduate of a four-year course. And the irony? Some of these PMA cadets do not even know how to take care of their boots so they ended up murdering their own kind.

Based on the reports, Darwin Dormitorio was beaten up to death for his failure to safekeep the boots of his buddy. Is laziness to keep one’s personal belongings a part of the instruction in the PMA? And we are paying P2.982 million for that method of instruction? When these cadets graduate and become soldiers, will they also be allowed to be lazy and let others take their jobs defending the country and protecting the people?

While it may true that PMA is just exercising the “buddy system” to inculcate trust among students, or cadets for this matter, is beating a buddy part of that method of instruction? Should a soldier beat his/her fellow soldier for the laziness of the former? And we are paying P2.982 million for that method of instruction?

Buddy system is supposed to instill not only trust among buddies but also protection and defense from those that try to hurt their mates. But if at this point the buddies, who are supposed to defend each other, are the ones hurting or killing their partners, something must be wrong. Do we deserve to pay P2.982 million for each of them?

The cadets suspected to have murdered Dormitorio may have been expelled and the high ranking officials of the PMA may have resigned but this doesn’t close the issue. There are ways to train better and effective soldiers. And by “better” we mean those who are not lazy and know how to take care of their own kind. We cannot entrust our lives to soldiers that doesn’t even know how to take care of their own boots, and more so murder their buddies for their own laziness and negligence.

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