MANILA (Mabuhay) — Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia’s dismissal is not an issue of tardiness, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) said in a statement Thursday as it defended itself from negative public perception stemming from a Facebook post that went viral.
The Facebook post on Cudia’s dismissal was shared more than 17,000 times before it was taken down. The post mentioned that Cudia was “found guilty” of lying about the reason for his tardiness, but it was not highlighted.
In the statement, the PMA said Cudia’s case “is not about being late in class.”
“While it started as a violation of the regulations, which is coming to class late, the findings of the preliminary investigation conducted revealed a possibility of Cdt Cudia violating the Honor Code which led to the opening of formal investigation by the Honor Committee,” the PMA said.
The PMA, however, did not disclose the specific Honor Code violation that Cudia supposedly committed.
According to the academy’s website, the PMA’s honor code is a “unique system” administered by the cadets to themselves. It states: “We, the cadets, do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate among us those who do so.”
“While the Academy recognizes his academic performance, this does not exempt him from strict observance of the Code,” the country’s premier military school said.
Cudia, a PMA First Class cadet, is set to graduate this year. According to his sister who wrote the viral Facebook post, he was at the top of his Navy Class, a Deputy Baron and in the top 2 of the Class of 2014.
But the PMA said while it is “ deeply saddened in seeing such great talent go,” it – and the Cadet Corps, in particular – “cannot be selective in its application of the Code regardless of a cadet’s academic performance and even personal circumstances.”
“Once they lied, cheated, stole or tolerated the commission of these offenses, there is only one punishment – separation,” the PMA added.
Armed Forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista has already ordered the PMA to review Cudia’s case to “ferret out the facts.”
“I have ordered a review of the case so that we can find out the real facts behind this and so lets wait for the result of the investigation,” Bautista said Thursday.
“Wala naman akong binigay na deadline but PMA is aware of the urgency of this [issue],” he added.
Bautista, however, wished the issue has remained within the Cadet Corps. “They can resolve it among themselves. This is the cadet Honor Code,” he said.
Bautista added that changes within the PMA system have been ongoing, saying such changes are “part of the PMA transformation, including [changes] in the curriculum so that we are always updated and responsive to the requirements of the times.”
“We are always very sensitive in the interest of transparency, that’s part of transformation,” he said.
Cudia is currently on indefinite leave while awaiting for the final verdict on his case, the PMA said.(MNS)