Cudia not among graduating PMA cadets at Navy dinner
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Navy on Tuesday night hosted a welcome reception to 56 graduating cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), but beleaguered Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia was not among them.
The dinner for the cadets who are set to join the military’s naval force was hosted by Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano. It was held at the Philippine Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard.
Cudia, who was found guilty by the PMA Honor Committee of lying and recommended his dismissal, was supposed to receive the Navy Saber for being the top cadet to join the Navy.
Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic told the Inquirer by phone that Cudia’s absence from the event should not be construed that the controversial cadet would not be graduating with his “Siklab Diwa” Class on March 16.
“We are still waiting for the final resolution on his case,” Fabic said.
Fabic said he was told that Cudia remains, by his own choice, at the holding center of the PMA while he awaits for the final decision on his case.
Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista directed the honor committee to review and reinvestigate the case of Cudia.
Bautista’s order was unprecedented since the Honor Committee is a cadet institution governed by rules of the students and its decisions are absolute.
But Cudia’s family and friends drummed up support for him on Facebook, yet another unprecedented move that veered away from the traditional ties that bind the cadets.
Cudia, the class salutatorian, is fighting the decision of the Honor Committee, claiming that it had misjudged his explanation why he was late for class by two minutes.
He also accused the Honor Committee members of violating the Honor Code themselves after one of them changed his vote of not guilty to guilty. A cadet is found guilty only if he or she receives a unanimous verdict from the Honor Committee.
The Honor Committee said Cudia lied when he claimed that the instructor dismissed their class late. It turned out that the class was dismissed on time, but Cudia and four other classmates stayed behind to wait for their instructor to give them their grades.
In the military, Cudia’s reasoning was tantamount to “quibbling,” which is deemed unacceptable.
Lying is a major violation of the cadet Honor Code, wherein one vows to “not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”
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