SC affirms dismissal of Cadet Cudia
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the decision of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in dismissing Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia in 2014 for violating the honor code.
In its ruling, the high court, through Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta said the PMA did not violate petitioner’s [Cudia] due process rights when it enforced its rules on discipline, consisting of its Honor Code for lying.
The high court defined the PMA’s Honor Code as a “set of basic and fundamental ethical and moral principles…the minimum standard for cadet behavior and…the guiding spirit behind each cadet’s action.”
“As the primary training and educational institution of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), it certainly has the right to invoke academic freedom in the enforcement of its rules and regulations, which are the Honor Code and the Honor System in particular,” high court’s Information Chief Theodore Te said at a press conference.
Cudia was dishonorably discharged for lying about his reason on being tardy in one class.
“It is the cadet’s responsibility to maintain the highest standard of honor (and)…(t)hroughout the cadet’s stay in the PMA, he or she is absolutely bound by it,” Te said quoting the high court’s ruling.
The high court also pointed out that they respect the PMA’s ruling “by reason of their special knowledge and expertise gained from the handling of specific matters falling under their respective jurisdictions, the factual findings of administrative tribunals are ordinarily accorded respect if not finality by the Court, unless such findings are not supported by evidence or vitiated by fraud, imposition or collusion; where the procedure which led to the findings is irregular; when palpable errors are committed; or when a grave abuse of discretion, arbitrariness or capriciousness is manifest.
In this case, the high court said they do not see any reason to deviate from the PMA’s findings.
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