From GMA News (Mar 4): Military: Cadet Cudia may graduate, but not guaranteed a post in AFP
Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia, who was dismissed from the Philippine Military Academy by the school's Honor Committee last month, may have a fighting chance to graduate—though he will not be guaranteed a post in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
But first, the cadet will have to win his appeal before even tackling the issue of his graduation.
"He will not graduate unless there is new evidence to prove his innocence," AFP public affairs chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala told GMA News Online in a phone interview on Tuesday.
"Graduation depends if he completed his academic requirements but it is not sure if he will be commissioned [by the AFP] because of his case," he noted.
PMA graduates are usually guaranteed a post in the military.
Cudia is technically dismissed from the academy after the Honor Committee found him guilty of "lying" in his explanation as to why he was two minutes late for a class.
The PMA's Honor Code states: "We, the cadets, do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate among us those who do so."
Cudia's dismissal from the country's premier military school has been widely discussed on social media, after his sister posted about it on Facebook. The post gained more than 17,000 shares before it was taken down.
The PMA First Class cadet was supposed to graduate this month. When he was dismissed, he was at the top of his Navy Class, a Deputy Baron and in the top two of the entire Class of 2014.
Cudia's tardiness cost him 11 demerits and 13 hours of touring (walking on grounds). The cadet appealed the punishment given to him, which led to the Honor Committee's hearing his case.
In his written explanation for his two minutes' tardiness, Cudia said that he was dismissed late by his professor. The Honor Committee tagged this statement as a lie, since he was not technically dismissed late but was made to wait after class to received a document from his professor.
Subsequently, the Honor Committee decided to administratively discharge the cadet.
When the PMA asked the AFP to remove Cudia's list on the cadet corps roll, AFP chief General Emmanuel Bautista ordered the academy to reopen the investigation.
The case is currently with the PMA's Cadet Review and Appeals Board (CRAB).
In a separate phone interview, AFP spokesman Major General Domingo Tutaan told GMA News Online that CRAB has met with Cudia last week to start the appeal investigation.
However even as the case undergoes a review, Cudia is being ostracized by his fellow cadets.
A source who refused to be named told GMA News Online earlier that only one PMA cadet managed to graduate after being ostracized by his fellow cadets.
"Whatever the results may be, we expect Cadet Cudia to accept the judgement and the public to accept the decision. Beyond public sympathy, it is important to maintain the Honor Code," Zagala said.
The program was held on February 27 at Idtig, Paglat, Maguindanao. Part of the activities was an advocacy on the Framework Agreement and the GPH-MILF Peace Process.
The activity speaker was Prof. Esmael Abdula, Chairman of the Campaign and Mass Mobilization, Sub -Committee on Information, Committee on Information, MILF CC and member of the Steering Committee of Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI). Also with Abdula were Provincial Chairman of Damakling Provincial MILF Political Committee, the Director of Information, Damakling Provincial Committee of MILF Information and Dir. Moidjoddin K. Talusob, Executive Director of Kalilintad Development Foundation Inc.
Approximately 1000 participants attended comprising 200 members of the Provincial Police Force from the MILF Provincial Committee of Damakling Province, BIAF members from the 109th Base Command Eastern Mindanao Front, the women sector and representatives from the SWC.
Other target areas are lined-up for more consultations and advocacy to be undertaken in the contiguous areas by the BLMI headed by Mr. Abdula, who is also the Training Officer of the BLMI.