Report affirming Cudia’s dismissal transmitted to Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista has submitted to the Office of the President the recommendation of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) review board dismissing Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia after he was found guilty of lying by his fellow cadets.
The board upheld the decision of the PMA honor committee, comprising cadets, to dismiss Cudia from the cadet corps for violating the honor code.
“For the dismissal to be effective, (there should) be a presidential issuance in that regard,” the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Major General Domingo Tutaan, said at a press conference.
The President will preside over the graduation of Cudia’s classmates, members of the “Siklab Diwa” 2014 Class, on March 16. The graduates will be commissioned as second lieutenants of the Army and Air Force, and Navy ensigns.
Tutaan said the Cadet Review and Appeals Board had looked into Cudia’s case and “found regularity in the procedures that were followed from the time Cadet Cudia was reported for violation of the honor code till the time the recommendation for dismissal was made.”
Cudia’s family and supporters last month took to the social media to appeal the honor committee’s decision to expel him.
Cudia was found guilty by the honor committee of lying about why he was late for class.
Tutaan said Bautista’s order to review the honor committee’s decision was a “manifestation that the AFP always works within due process and the rule of law.”
Asked what lesson the military learned from Cudia’s fight with the honor committee, Tutaan said: “It is upholding the honor code system in the (PMA), that this is a code or a practice that is molding cadets into characters of integrity.”
Tutaan said that on criticisms that there might be a need to review the honor code system, where cadets decide on the fate of fellow cadets, the AFP’s “transformation roadmap’’ required accountability in the actions by every AFP member.
“The roadmap is within the AFP core value of service, honor and patriotism,” Tutaan said. “The honor code system is aligned with it (for every member of the AFP) to have character of integrity.”
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