The promotion of Maj. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, the current commander of the Southern Luzon Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), did not get through the Commission on Appointments.
The CA confirmed the ad interim appointment and nomination of 39 AFP generals and senior officers who appeared before the commission.
Bacarro was left behind because the family of Darwin Dormitorio, a cadet who allegedly died in the hazing or mistreatment of upperclassmen at the Philippine Military Academy in 2019, objected to his confirmation.
Bacarro was the commander of the cadets then.
Dexter Dormitorio, Darwin’s brother, said the fact that someone died because of Bacarro’s shortcomings as a leader and decision-maker could not be erased.
“We sympathize with Mr. Bacarro, with his feeling of being unreasonably prosecuted. We are not discounting the fact that in his many years of service as soldier his accolades and accomplishment that some of dream of, but this does not change the facts that during his term as commandant of cadets the evil culture of hazing seem to have flourished at the PMA,” he said.
Gerarda Villa, of Crusade Against Violence and parent of a victim of hazing 30 years ago but had nothing to do with Bacarro, also called on the CA for the postponement of Bacarro’s confirmation.
Family of hazing victim Darwin Dormitorio blocks promotion of ex PMA head
According to Villa, no one has been taught a lesson in hazing because no one has been punished yet.
She said she did not blame Bacarro but said she had command responsibility.
Bacarro replied that he understands the plight of the families, but the accusations have tarnished his reputation while he has been acquitted of criminal liability from the investigations.
“For the complaint against me for the violation of the anti-hazing law, anti-torture law and dereliction of duty have been dismissed by the Office of the City Prosecutor Baguio in a joint resolution dated 5 November,” he said.
Due to the CA’s lack of time, it was decided to return Bacarro for another confirmation hearing on September 15.