MANILA, Philippines — The family of dismissed Philippine Military Academy cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia went to Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday seeking a “re-investigation or retrial” of his case.
They were accompanied by Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Acosta who made a more emotional appeal, saying “Kung ang batas may puso, tao pa kaya (If the law has heart, what more the person)”.
Cudia’s family was met by Rear Admiral Philip Cacayan, deputy chief of staff for personnel. They submitted an appeal memorandum dated March 11 “seeking a re-investigation or retrial of the case. ”
The appeal, according to Acosta, contained new evidence that will acquit Cudia. It supposedly confirmed rigging of votes that led to his dismissal.
Cudia’s camp claimed it was an 8-1 voting that later became 9-0. A unanimous vote by the Honor Committee is required to dismiss a cadet.
“It hurts, but little by little we are seeing a sign of hope,” Renato, the father of Cudia, told reporters in Filipino.
He also thanked their supporters and said they were leaving it up to God.
In a decision released Tuesday, the PMA dismissed Cudia, who was supposed to be the class salutatorian, for violating the Honor Code by lying about the reason as to why he was late for class.
A second recommendation to uphold the dismissal has been submitted to the office of the Armed Forces chief of staff.
“After this meeting we had with the [PAO], we will be getting in touch with the chief of staff regarding this appeal memorandum that was submitted,” Major General Domingo Tutaan , military spokesperson, told reporters.
Cudia’s case was supposed to be confidential but the PMA proceedings broke out on social media through the cadet’s sister Avee. This led to a re-investigation ordered by Armed Forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista himself.
“Meron kaming new evidence na pwedeng magbigay ng bukang liwayway kasi meron new evidence na dapat si Cudia ay acquitted,” Acosta said.
“Please help us pray that the hearts of the general will be touched by God to be able to decide what is right,” she added.