PMA CADETS OSTRACIZE DISMISSED SENIOR CADET ALDRIN CUDIA

The controversy surrounding the dismissal from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) of its second top graduating cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia is far from over. The PMA leadership and members of the cadet corps were surprised by the filing of counter charges against nine officers of the Honor Committee by Cudia on Friday. The Honor Committee earlier ordered his dismissal after he was found guilty of violating the academy’s Honor Code. Cudia was scheduled to graduate next month as salutatorian of PMA Silab-Diwa Class of 2014. “It was the decision of the cadet corps to ostracize him because they do not like what Cadet Cudia is doing,” PMA spokesman Maj. Agnes Lynnette Flores said. Flores said Cudia has been placed in the academy’s holding center.

ALSO: Dismissed cadet turns tables on PMA jury

Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia has turned the tables on the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets, who found him guilty of lying and recommended his dismissal a few weeks before his graduation from the academy. The beleaguered cadet accused them of violating the Honor Code shortly before his sister revealed his predicament over social media on Feb. 18. Cudia submitted an “honor report” containing his grievances against nine voting members of the honor committee, which found him guilty of a major Honor Code violation, said Maj. Agnes Lynette Flores, PMA spokesperson, on Friday. Flores did not reveal the contents of Cudia’s report. Because the report had been transmitted officially, his complaint would now be investigated and may go to trial before the graduation of PMA “Siklab Diwa” Class of 2014 on March 16, the Inquirer learned. PMA cadets and alumni submit to the Honor Code through this pledge: “We, the cadets, do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate among us those who do so.” Violations of the code are filed in an honor report, which is investigated immediately by the honor committee, composed of 25 cadets who represent the academy’s multiple class levels, Flores said.

ALSO: PMA defends order to dismiss Cudia

It was not about being late, but about breaking the academy’s honor code. The Philippine Military Academy on Thursday stressed this point in the wake of criticisms over the case of Cadet Jeff Aldrin Cudia who is facing dismissal from the premier military school for allegedly breaking the academy’s honor code. “Cadet [Jeff Aldrin] Cudia’s case is not an issue 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 Cadet Cudia violating the Honor Code which led to the opening of formal investigation by the Honor Committee,” Major Agnes Lynette Flores, PMA spokesperson, said in a statement on Thursday. Cudia was dismissed from service after he went to class two minutes late and supposedly lied to the professor why he was late. Lying is a grave offense in the academy. Their code is that “one must not lie, cheat and steal nor tolerate among them those who do.” Cudia’s relatives posted his plight on Facebook, which called the attention of netizens and the media. The Facebook narrative by his sister, Avee, was taken down on Wednesday. Cudia is supposed to graduate salutatorian next month.

ALSO: How do you solve a problem like Cudia?

How do you solve a problem like Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia? After Cudia was dismissed from the Philippine Military Academy after being tardy by two minutes, General Emmanuel Bautista, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said that the matter could be resolved among the cadets. “It’s a matter among the cadets; they can resolve it among themselves,” Bautista said Thursday afternoon after the launch of the Multi-Sector Governance Council at Camp Aguinaldo. Relatives of a graduating Philippine Military Academy cadet supposedly dismissed from service for being two minutes late took to social media their complaints against the PMA leadership. Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia was given 11 demerits and 13 hours of touring for his two minutes of tardiness, said his sister Avee Cudia in a Facebook post last Feb. 10. The cadet Cudia appealed his punishment to his tactical officer, saying that the professor dismissed them late. In the previous class, the cadets were supposedly told by the professor to wait for a while because he was going to give them a paper. Later in the next class when Aldrin was asked why he was late, he said it was because “the professor dismissed them late.” “The Honor Committee said it was a lie and he should not have said ‘the professor dismissed us late.’ Isn’t it the same thing?” Avee said on Facebook. The Honor Committee is composed of their fellow cadets. Lying is a grave violation of the cadets’ honor code, that one must not lie, cheat and steal.


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PMA cadets ostracize Cudia

MANILA, FEBRUARY 24, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  By Jaime Laude - The controversy surrounding the dismissal from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) of its second top graduating cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia (photo) is far from over.

The PMA leadership and members of the cadet corps were surprised by the filing of counter charges against nine officers of the Honor Committee by Cudia on Friday.

The Honor Committee earlier ordered his dismissal after he was found guilty of violating the academy’s Honor Code.

Cudia was scheduled to graduate next month as salutatorian of PMA Silab-Diwa Class of 2014.

“It was the decision of the cadet corps to ostracize him because they do not like what Cadet Cudia is doing,” PMA spokesman Maj. Agnes Lynnette Flores said.

Flores said Cudia has been placed in the academy’s holding center.

“He is not being treated as a prisoner or detainee. Since he has been administratively discharged, he can go anytime. We only want to ensure that he is safe from any harm,” she said.

Flores said a separate Honor Committee will be convened to validate the case filed by Cudia. It will also determine whether members of the committee that ordered his dismissal erred and violated the honor system.

In an ABS-CBN News report, Cudia said that members of the committee also lied and cheated after he found out that the result of the initial voting had acquitted him, but the decision was later changed.

Cudia alleged there was one committee member who voted “not guilty.” Under the Honor Code rules, one not guilty vote is enough to merit the acquittal of an accused.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Dismissed cadet turns tables on PMA jury By Vincent Cabreza Inquirer Northern Luzon 7:31 am | Saturday, February 22nd, 2014


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2014/02/cudia-e1392890532506.jpg
Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia. Photo from Facebook

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia has turned the tables on the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets, who found him guilty of lying and recommended his dismissal a few weeks before his graduation from the academy.

The beleaguered cadet accused them of violating the Honor Code shortly before his sister revealed his predicament over social media on Feb. 18.

Cudia submitted an “honor report” containing his grievances against nine voting members of the honor committee, which found him guilty of a major Honor Code violation, said Maj. Agnes Lynette Flores, PMA spokesperson, on Friday.
Flores did not reveal the contents of Cudia’s report.

Because the report had been transmitted officially, his complaint would now be investigated and may go to trial before the graduation of PMA “Siklab Diwa” Class of 2014 on March 16, the Inquirer learned.

PMA cadets and alumni submit to the Honor Code through this pledge: “We, the cadets, do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate among us those who do so.”

Violations of the code are filed in an honor report, which is investigated immediately by the honor committee, composed of 25 cadets who represent the academy’s multiple class levels, Flores said.

But only nine cadets are eligible to vote on a cadet’s innocence or guilt. Six of them belong to the first class or senior cadets, to which Cudia belongs, while the three other cadets are second class men (the equivalent of third year university students).

Flores said the honor committee could address Cudia’s complaint side by side with a review of his case, which Maj. Gen. Oscar Lopez, the PMA superintendent who was installed during the Feb. 15 PMA alumni homecoming, will undertake.

Lopez was tasked to re-evaluate Cudia’s case after the cadet’s sister, Avee, posted details of his troubles.

Cudia, the third in the family’s brood of four, turned 22 years old on Feb. 12, but it was unlikely he had time to celebrate.

Avee complained in her Feb. 18 post over Facebook that her brother was punished with demerits for being 2 minutes late to a class.

The cadets initiated the honor committee investigation because of discrepancies in Cudia’s explanation to justify his tardiness, which opened up a charge of lying. The committee voted unanimously and found Cudia guilty, according to PMA officials.

He was placed on indefinite leave from military service on Feb. 10, after the cadet was administratively separated from the PMA when retired Vice Admiral Edgardo Abogado, Lopez’s predecessor, approved the honor committee’s recommendation to discharge Cudia.

“This means that Cudia at the moment does not belong to the graduating class because he was administratively separated from PMA,” Flores said.

Cudia was running for honors as class salutatorian “because all cadets get a sense of where they stand based on their grades and accomplishments,” Flores said.

PMA defends order to dismiss Cudia By Frances Mangosing INQUIRER.net
1:33 pm | Thursday, February 20th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – It was not about being late, but about breaking the academy’s honor code.

The Philippine Military Academy on Thursday stressed this point in the wake of criticisms over the case of Cadet Jeff Aldrin Cudia who is facing dismissal from the premier military school for allegedly breaking the academy’s honor code.

“Cadet [Jeff Aldrin] Cudia’s case is not an issue 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 Cadet Cudia violating the Honor Code which led to the opening of formal investigation by the Honor Committee,” Major Agnes Lynette Flores, PMA spokesperson, said in a statement on Thursday.

Cudia was dismissed from service after he went to class two minutes late and supposedly lied to the professor why he was late.

Lying is a grave offense in the academy. Their code is that “one must not lie, cheat and steal nor tolerate among them those who do.”

Cudia’s relatives posted his plight on Facebook, which called the attention of netizens and the media. The Facebook narrative by his sister, Avee, was taken down on Wednesday. Cudia is supposed to graduate salutatorian next month.


CUDIA

In the past, there were also cases of cadets at the PMA being dismissed in service but this was one of those rare incidents that hit Facebook.

Speculations in military circles say that Cudia lied about the reason as to why he was late to avoid punishments and demerits that will lower his cadet ranking.

“While the Academy recognizes his academic performance, this does not exempt him from strict observance of the Code,” Flores said.

The PMA assured that Cudia was given due process. On Wednesday, General Emmanuel Bautista, Armed Forces chief, ordered a re-investigation of the case. Cudia was placed on indefinite leave.

“The case folder bearing the recommendation of the PMA Superintendent for his separation from military service has been duly endorsed to higher headquarters in the Armed Forces of the Philippines for appropriate action. In line with this, the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines has given a guidance to conduct a re-investigation of the case. As to the status of Cadet Cudia in the Academy, he was already placed on an indefinite leave while awaiting the final disposition of his case,” Flores said.

The Honor System is strictly observed in the academy by the Honor Committee composed of cadets. There are 25 members — one representative from each batch in each of the eight companies. When a cadet is found guilty, he leaves honorably or stay in service and be ostracized.

“We are deeply saddened in seeing such great talent go. But the PMA, 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,” Flores said.

How do you solve a problem like Cudia? By Bong Lozada INQUIRER.net 6:01 pm | Thursday, February 20th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – How do you solve a problem like Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia?

After Cudia was dismissed from the Philippine Military Academy after being tardy by two minutes, General Emmanuel Bautista, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said that the matter could be resolved among the cadets.

“It’s a matter among the cadets; they can resolve it among themselves,” Bautista said Thursday afternoon after the launch of the Multi-Sector Governance Council at Camp Aguinaldo.

Cudia was dismissed from the PMA and his stature as a would-be class salutatorian in the academy’s graduation rites this year, after he showed up two minutes late in his class after he claimed that the professor in his previous class dismissed them late.

Bautista, however, said that he could not comment further on the case as the investigation is still going on.

He added that there is no definite deadline on the resolution but assured that the PMA is aware of the urgency of the matter.

Kin of dismissed PMA cadet take up fight on social media By Frances Mangosing INQUIRER.net 4:57 pm | Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines– Relatives of a graduating Philippine Military Academy cadet supposedly dismissed from service for being two minutes late took to social media their complaints against the PMA leadership.

Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia was given 11 demerits and 13 hours of touring for his two minutes of tardiness, said his sister Avee Cudia in a Facebook post last Feb. 10.

The cadet Cudia appealed his punishment to his tactical officer, saying that the professor dismissed them late.

In the previous class, the cadets were supposedly told by the professor to wait for a while because he was going to give them a paper. Later in the next class when Aldrin was asked why he was late, he said it was because “the professor dismissed them late.”

“The Honor Committee said it was a lie and he should not have said ‘the professor dismissed us late.’ Isn’t it the same thing?” Avee said on Facebook. The Honor Committee is composed of their fellow cadets.

Lying is a grave violation of the cadets’ honor code, that one must not lie, cheat and steal.

“Because of the violation of the honor code, he was recommended dismissed by the Honor Committee. They ignored the written affidavit of the professor saying that Aldrin Jeff was right that he dismissed them late,” Avee added.

“Why were the other cadets who were late were only given eight demerits and eight hours of touring? Is it because my brother was not articulate in explaining why he was late and he did not impress the Honor Committee with his answer?” Avee also said.

Avee also accused the tactical officer for not having a liking for his brother.

“The tactical officer is picking on him and had become narrow-minded in giving him punishment. He was the only professor that gave low grades to my brother because he asks a lot of questions in class. What is heartbreaking is that high ranking officials of the PMA don’t talk to him and only listened to the Honor Committee,” she said.

Aldrin Jeff is graduating top 2 in PMA Class 2014. He is top in his Navy Class, a position that guarantees him opportunities in his future career as a military officer.

His foster parent at PMA, Ched Arzadon, posted on her Facebook account last Feb. 17 that Aldrin Jeff was dismissed from service and will not join graduation.

The PMA is using the Foster Parenting program, which give cadets “a home away from home.”

Avee said they will fight for his brother’s justice: “Fight the good fight of faith. We are strengthened by the support of people helping and praying for us. If we lose, at least a lot of people know what we went through.”

Re-investigation ordered

The PMA has not been answering the media about the matter, but the Armed Forces of the Philippines said it will re-investigate.

“It has reached the attention of the chief of staff and he has ordered a re-investigation,” military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala told reporters Wednesday.

As the AFP chief, General Emmanuel Bautista has “the overall control and supervision of all units of the AFP and he can order the re-investigation,” Zagala said. The PMA is under the leadership of the newly installed superintendent Major General Oscar Lopez.

The PMA Honor Code

But whether or not the issue should have come outside the walls of the PMA is another debate. This was not the first time that a cadet was dismissed from service but it does not usually end up in social media.

The PMA culture and the honor system is a sacred tradition among them and is hard to explain to civilians, according to one PMA graduate. In violating the honor code, you either leave honorably or stay in the service and face ostracism.

“It is hard to explain to civilians what the honor code is. If you violated the honor code then you should not get away from it,” the PMA graduate said who spoke under the condition of anonymity.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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