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Cudia family submits new evidence against Honor Committee

/ 03:48 PM March 12, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The family of dismissed Philippine Military Academy cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia has submitted new evidence against the Honor Committee that tried him and ordered his dismissal.

His family, accompanied by Public Attorney Office chief Persida Acosta, visited Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday to submit an appeal memorandum seeking a re-trial of the case.

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A sworn affidavit of Navy Commander Junjie Tabuanda backed Cudia, confirming the rigging of votes when he talked to First Class Cadet Lagura, a member of the Honor Committee.

“When he was about to leave I called him, “Lags halika muna dito,” and he approached me and I let him sit down in the chair in front of my table. I told and asked him, “Talagang nadali si Cudia ah..ano ba ang nangyari? Mag-tagalog or mag-Bisaya ka?” He replied, “Talagang NOT GUILTY and vote ko sa kanya sir,” and I asked him, “Oh, bakit naging guilty di ba pag may isang nag NOT GUILTY abswelto na?” He replied “Chinamber ako sir, bale pinapa-justify kung bakit NOT GUILTY vote ko, at napressure din ako sir kaya binago ko, sir.” So I told him, “sayang sya, matalino at mabait pa naman” and he replied “oo nga sir.” After that conversation, I let him go,” Tabuanda’s affidavit read.

The Honor Committee is composed of cadets. A unanimous 9-0 vote is required to dismiss a cadet under trial. Cudia said it was originally an 8-1 vote.

The chairman of the Honor Committee, Cadet First Class Mogol, was accused by Cudia as the one who ordered the committee “to go to the secret room” after the 8-1 votes were cast. Then the votes became unanimous.

Cudia was accused for lying as to why he was late. Lying is a violation in the academy, where there is a strict implementation of the Honor Code that says “one must not lie, cheat and steal nor tolerate those who do.”

‘New evidence’ that will give ‘hope’

“What we know is that we have the right to appeal because we have a newly discovered evidence that we submitted and we are hoping that it will be considered by the PMA because we have an affidavit supporting that Mr. Cudia should be acquitted,” Acosta told reporters.

“We are the lawyer of the impossible, lawyer of the hopeless. But for me, there is still hope,” she added.

The appeal was received at Camp Aguinaldo by Rear Admiral Philip Cacayan, deputy chief of staff for personnel.

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TAGS: Aldrin Jeff Cudia, dismissal, Family, honor code, Philippine Military Academy, PMA, PMA Graduation, re-investigation, Retrial
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