BICOL FARMER'S SON TOP PMA GRADUATE; ONLY FEMALE IN CLASS IS NO 2 

A 22-year old son of a farmer and a housewife in Daraga, Albay, will lead the 223 members
of the Philippine Military Academy’s graduating class this year. Cadet First-Class Gheorge Millena Llona, 22, will receive from President Benigno Aquino III the Presidential Saber during the graduation rites here on March 16. “Poverty is not a hindrance in the realization and achievement of one’s dream provided that one has the guts to survive the challenges that will confront you in your bid to climb the ladder of success,” Llona said. Llona grew up in the remote village of Maopi in Daraga, Albay, where he became exposed to a difficult life at a young age. In his elementary school years he had to walk at least three kilometers to attend his classes and the same distance to return home, but he managed to graduate with flying colors. High school had been pretty much the same. Knowing his parents could not bankroll his college studies, Llona and his elder brother worked out the grant of a full scholarship for his accounting course at a local university, where he was able to perform well and to maintain high grades. With the help of his elder brother, he was able to take the entrance examination at the PMA, which he passed. Cadet First-Class Liza Jumawid Dango, a native of Buloa, Cagayan de Oro City, the only female in the top 10 ranking, is the class salutatorian. She will be receiving the Vice Presidential Saber, the Philippine Army Saber, the Humanities Plaque, and the Australian Defense Best Overall Performance Award. She will be joining the Philippine Army.

ALSO: President Aquino with Cudia and his parents at Malacanang on Saturday

Only the President as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines can
reverse the fate of dismissed cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia. The Philippine Military Academy had dug in, dismissing the cadet’s last appeal to reconsider his dismissal after a committee of fellow cadets found him “guilty” last month of lying about why he was late for class by two minutes—supposedly a fatal violation of the academy’s Honor Code. President Benigno Aquino III, according to Inquirer sources, met with Cudia and his parents at the presidential Mansion on Saturday after the academy announced its final decision not to let the cadet march at the academy’s commencement rites Sunday. Family and supporters of Cudia, who would have graduated among the top 10 of Siklab Diwa Class of 2014, have brought his case to the public and have threatened legal action. Earlier Saturday, Col. Rozzano Briguez, PMA commandant of cadets told reporters: “Cadet Cudia will not march tomorrow, (he) will not graduate tomorrow.” The PMA has also recommended perjury charges against an academy official who sided with Cudia, alleging that the Navy official lied to boost Cudia’s case, Briguez said in a talk with reporters following Recognition Day ceremonies here for this year’s top cadets. The event was attended by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. The President is Sunday’s commencement speaker and will assign ranks and military service units to the graduates in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the AFP.

ALSO: Aquino defers decision on Cudia, orders AFP chief to investigate

President Benigno Aquino III has withheld his decision on the appeal by Cadet First Class Aldrin
Jeff Cudia to graduate with his class Sunday and instead directed his military chief to investigate the cadet’s case, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said in a statement Saturday here. At the same time, Gazmin said Aquino asked Cudia and his family to formalize their appeal in writing for his review. He added it was agreed that “Cadet First Class Cudia will not graduate tomorrow, without prejudice to whatever will be the result of their new appeal, which is now elevated to the CSAFP (Emmanuel Bautista) whom the President directed to investigate. Aquino as commander-in-chief will preside over the graduation ceremonies.

ALSO: CHR: No due process for sacked cadet Cudia

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday asked the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to reinstate Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia to the PMA Corps of Cadets, saying he had not been accorded due process when he was dismissed from the PMA in February. CHR Commissioners Ma. Victoria Cardona and Norberto de la Cruz also asked the PMA to allow Cudia to join the commencement exercises of the PMA Siklab Diwa Class of 2014 on Sunday, and to restore the dismissed cadet’s salary and benefits.Cudia, who was running for third honors, was dismissed from the PMA on Feb. 10, for allegedly lying to justify his being late to a class. Lying is considered a major violation of the PMA’s Honor Code.Harold Kub-aron, CHR Cordillera director, said the agency has yet to decide whether it would pursue a lawsuit against the PMA.

FROM FB: THE TRUE STORY BEHIND GUILTY VERDICT VS CADET ALDRIN JEFF P. CUDIA IS TOLD HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME, PUBLICLY

FROM HIS FB TIMELINE, BERTENI 'TOTO' CATALUNA CAUSING  POSTED: For the benefit of all and in the interest of fair play and justice, I am posting here a copy of the report of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) after conducting an investigation by issuing subpoenas to the concerned persons. This is being posted so that the public may know the issues whose facts have been kept under wraps from the eyes of the curious public insisting transparency in the PMA's announced decision to dismiss Cudia upon the ground that public funds have been defrayed in the schooling and training of all students of the PMA to mold them as military leaders defending the people against aggressors (should not include rebels who are also part of the people).In fairness to Cadet First Class Lagura, he and all other voting members of the Honorable Committee that voted on Cudia's case ADMITTED during the investigation THE EXISTENCE OF THE 8-1 VOTE.

SNIPPING COPY OF CHR REPORT BELOW THIS PAGE


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

Bicol farmer’s son top PMA graduate

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2014/03/pma-031214.jpg
FROM THE INQUIRER: PMA’S FINEST. The top 10 graduates of PMA Class 2014, led by Cadet First Class Jheorge Llona (left, first row), pose for the cameras at Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City on Tuesday. EV ESPIRITU/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

FORT DEL PILAR, MARCH 17, 2014 (MANILA STANDARD) By Dexter A. See - A 22-year old son of a farmer and a housewife in Daraga, Albay, will lead the 223 members of the Philippine Military Academy’s graduating class this year.

Cadet First-Class Gheorge Millena Llona, 22, will receive from President Benigno Aquino III the Presidential Saber during the graduation rites here on March 16.


Siklab Diwa. Officials of the Philippine Military Academy present the top 10 cadets of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 2014, known as “Siklab Diwa.” They are (front, from left) Cadets First Class Jheorge Llona, Liza J. Dango, Billy Codiam,
Leo Mac C Tuliao, Noel V. Raguindin (back, from right) Carlito C Agustin, Frank j Anzale, King Kristian M Argoso, Greg Philip L Monsalud, Alvin C Balangcod. DAVID CHAN

Llona will also receive the Philippine Air Force Saber, the Academic Group Award, the Management Plaque, the Air Force Professional Courses Plaque, the JUSMAG Award, the General Antonio Luna Award, and the Australian Defense Best Overall Performance Award.


PROUD GRADUATING CADETS of PMA Siklab Diwa Class 2014. First Class Cadets Jheorge Millena (L), No 1 and Liza Julmawid Dangco (R), No 2.

“Poverty is not a hindrance in the realization and achievement of one’s dream provided that one has the guts to survive the challenges that will confront you in your bid to climb the ladder of success,” Llona said.

Llona grew up in the remote village of Maopi in Daraga, Albay, where he became exposed to a difficult life at a young age.

In his elementary school years he had to walk at least three kilometers to attend his classes and the same distance to return home, but he managed to graduate with flying colors.

High school had been pretty much the same.

Knowing his parents could not bankroll his college studies, Llona and his elder brother worked out the grant of a full scholarship for his accounting course at a local university, where he was able to perform well and to maintain high grades.

The twist in his college education came when he was taken in as one of the officers of the Reserve Officers’ Trainings Corps and spent most of his time there, resulting in his getting failing grades in his major subjects.

“My parents were disappointed when they learned about what happened to my studies, so I had to think about how to recover and please them,” Llona said.

With the help of his elder brother, he was able to take the entrance examination at the PMA, which he passed.

“I did not expect to be the top graduate, but what I knew was that I had to work extra hard in order to complete a higher degree of education to help uplift the living condition of my family,” Llona said.

Two-hundred-four of the 223 graduating cadets this year are male and 19 are female, according to Maj. Gen. Oscar Lopez, the PMA Superintendent.

He said 118 cadets composed of 109 men and nine women will be joining the Philippine Army, 57 cadets composed of 51 men and six women will be joining the Philippine Navy, and 48 cadets composed of 44 men and four women will be joining the Philippine Air Force.

Cadet First-Class Liza Jumawid Dango, a native of Buloa, Cagayan de Oro City, the only female in the top 10 ranking, is the class salutatorian. She will be receiving the Vice Presidential Saber, the Philippine Army Saber, the Humanities Plaque, and the Australian Defense Best Overall Performance Award. She will be joining the Philippine Army.

Cadet First-Class Billy Casibi Codiam of Lubo, Pangol, Tanudan, Kalinga, placed third. He will be receiving the Secretary of National Defense Saber, the Social Sciences Plaque and the Spanish Armed Forces Saber.

Cadet First-Class Leo Mac Callueng Tuliao of Penablanca, Cagayan, placed fourth.

Cadet First-Class Noel de Venecia Raguindin of Dagupan City, Pangasinan, placed fifth, and will be receiving the Philippine Navy Saber and Tactic Groups Award.

Cadet First-Class Carlito Christopher Pajarillo Agustin of Tuguegarao City placed sixth.

In seventh place is Cadet First-Class Frank J. Anzale of Babatngon, Leyte, who will be receiving the Natural Sciences Plaque.

Cadet First-Class King Kristian Dennis Marca Argoso of Gumaca, Quezon, placed eighth.

Cadet First-Class Greg Philip Lesmoras Monsalud of Cagayan de Oro City placed ninth and will be receiving the Navy Professional Courses Plaque, while Cadet First-Class Alvin Kantala Balangcod of Kapangan, Benguet, placed 10th and will be receiving the Army Professional Courses Plaque.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Cadet Cudia’s fate in Aquino’s hands By Vincent Cabreza Inquirer Northern Luzon 12:53 am | Sunday, March 16th, 2014



FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City—Only the President as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines can reverse the fate of dismissed cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia.

The Philippine Military Academy had dug in, dismissing the cadet’s last appeal to reconsider his dismissal after a committee of fellow cadets found him “guilty” last month of lying about why he was late for class by two minutes—supposedly a fatal violation of the academy’s Honor Code.

President Benigno Aquino III, according to Inquirer sources, met with Cudia and his parents at the presidential Mansion on Saturday after the academy announced its final decision not to let the cadet march at the academy’s commencement rites Sunday.

Family and supporters of Cudia, who would have graduated among the top 10 of Siklab Diwa Class of 2014, have brought his case to the public and have threatened legal action.

Earlier Saturday, Col. Rozzano Briguez, PMA commandant of cadets told reporters: “Cadet Cudia will not march tomorrow, (he) will not graduate tomorrow.”

The PMA has also recommended perjury charges against an academy official who sided with Cudia, alleging that the Navy official lied to boost Cudia’s case, Briguez said in a talk with reporters following Recognition Day ceremonies here for this year’s top cadets. The event was attended by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

The President is Sunday’s commencement speaker and will assign ranks and military service units to the graduates in his capacity as Commander in Chief of the AFP.

Malacañang earlier announced the President would wait for the PMA’s review before acting on Cudia’s case.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, the Inquirer’s sources could not give details on what the President and Cudia had discussed regarding his dismissal.

Cudia refused to leave the PMA as he waged a last-ditch battle through his family, friends and supporters to overturn his conviction, which they felt was unjust and heartless.

Honor Code

Cadets, PMA officials stressed, are required to follow an Honor Code, which condemns lying, cheating, stealing and from condoning people who commit these infractions.

The Inquirer learned that Cudia and his parents were escorted yesterday afternoon from the PMA to the Mansion, with the understanding that he could return to his quarters at the academy.

It was also learned that the dismissed cadet was moved to a new officer’s housing area from a detention facility.

Cudia’s separation was affirmed on Tuesday by the PMA Cadet Review and Appeals Board (CRAB) following a review of the honor committee hearings on Cudia’s case.

But on March 12, Cudia’s lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) presented a new witness, Commander Junjie Tabuada, head of the PMA Department of Naval Warfare, who agreed that the honor committee process had been anomalous. His testimony prompted the CRAB to reconvene on March 13.

The review board concluded on March 14 that Tabuada perjured himself when the PMA official testified that one of the cadets in the honor committee changed a “not guilty” vote that favored Cudia because of pressure from the committee members.

A cadet prosecuted for breaking the Honor Code may only be dismissed if a guilty verdict is rendered unanimously by nine cadets in the honor committee, who form an honor court.

Cudia protested that the honor court had voted twice when it could not achieve a unanimous guilty verdict.

‘Proven false’

“Tabuada’s [testimony] … was proven false by [the cadet he cited] … because according to the cadet, it was on his volition to change his vote from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’ after hearing the explanations of the other voting members of the honor committee,” Briguez said.

He said the system allows the honor committee and the voting members that make up an honor court to reconsider their votes, when only a vote or two prevents a unanimous decree regarding an honor report (a complaint filed against a cadet for violating the Honor Code).

The Commission on Human Rights, however, concluded that the first vote was the “genuine” vote.

Lawyer Harold Kub-aron, CHR Cordillera regional director, said Cudia’s dismissal was erroneous because the first honor court ruling was not unanimous so he remains a member of the cadet corps and must be allowed to graduate. Kub-aron took part in the CHR’s investigations this week.

Cudia also accused the honor committee of ignoring the testimony of Monica Costales, the operational research instructor, who supposedly kept Cudia in class, which led to his demerits for being tardy.

Briguez said Costales gave three accounts of the incident and later admitted that she could no longer remember the exact details of the incident. CRAB adopted her first testimony to the honor committee where she indicated that she had dismissed her class on time.

Briguez said the CRAB recommended that Tabuada be charged for making false testimony.

Asked if Tabuada was being punished for simply supporting Cudia, Briguez said the PMA official would be “investigated because he lied to the CRAB.” With a report from Nikko Dizon

Aquino defers decision on Cudia, orders AFP chief to investigate By Kristine Sabillo, Nikko Dizon Inquirer, INQUIRER.net 10:13 pm | Saturday, March 15th, 2014

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has withheld his decision on the appeal by Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia to graduate with his class Sunday and instead directed his military chief to investigate the cadet’s case, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said in a statement Saturday here.

At the same time, Gazmin said Aquino asked Cudia and his family to formalize their appeal in writing for his review.

He added it was agreed that “Cadet First Class Cudia will not graduate tomorrow, without prejudice to whatever will be the result of their new appeal, which is now elevated to the CSAFP (Emmanuel Bautista) whom the President directed to investigate.

Aquino as commander-in-chief will preside over the graduation ceremonies.

Earlier on Saturday, Colonel Rozzano Briguez told reporters here that Cadet Cudia “will not march tomorrow (Sunday), will not graduate tomorrow”.

Briguez, the commandant of cadets, said that the Cadet Review and Appeals Board (CRAB) denied Cudia’s motion for reconsideration.

“The final recommendation of the CRAB is to deny the appeal of Cadet Cudia,” Briguez said, adding that only the President as the commander-in-chief of the military could reverse Cudia’s fate.

The CRAB’s recommendation was forwarded to Aquino, who arrived here Saturday afternoon.

Cudia spent the day in a room in the Bachelor Officers’ Quarters as his classmates had their Recognition Day.

The class’ 10 topnotchers and other cadets who excelled in different fields were given awards in a ceremony led by Gazmin.

Gazmin, a member of PMA Class ’68, did not make any reference to the Cudia case in his speech.

By Briguez’s account, Cudia lost in the three arguments on which he based his appeal.

Cudia presented an affidavit by Commodore Junjie Tabuada, head of the PMA Naval Warfare Group, quoting honor committee member, Cadet 1st Class Dalton John Lagura, as saying that he (Lagura) was pressured into changing his vote from not guilty to guilty.

Lagura denied making such statement to Tabuada.

“According to the cadet, it was his own voluntary volition (sic) to change his vote from not guilty to guilty after he heard the explanation of the other members of the voting members of the Honor Committee,” Briguez said.

Briguez said that Tabuada himself would now be investigated for his affidavit.

“There is another recommendation to the CRAB for a separate investigation for Commander Tabuada but this has nothing to do with the honor code. It has something to do with conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, which falls under the Articles of War,” Briguez said.

Cudia accused the Honor Committee of grave abuse of discretion after its members changed its 8-1 vote to 9-0, the unanimous vote required to convict a cadet who had violated the honor code.

Briguez said the appeals board upheld the procedure agreed upon by all cadets and followed by the Honor Committee that in a 7-2 or 8-1 vote, the committee memebers will “go into a jury type executive session termed chambering.”

“It is like an additional explanation where all of them would go to the ante room and discuss what are the reasons why they voted guilty or not guilty. This has been their procedure since they started fourth-class year until first year and everybody accepted it conscientiously,” Briguez said.

On Cudia’s third and final point that the Honor Committee committed grave abuse of discretion for supposedly not hearing the testimony of professor Monica Costales, Briguez said the teacher submitted three testimonies.

The Honor Committee determined that Cudia had lied when he said he was late for class because the teacher made him and some of his classmates wait for their grades.

Briguez said the PMA would enforce the decision of the appeals board, despite a petition filed in the Supreme Court asking for a status quo ante order for Cudia.

“The decision of the PMA stays. He has all legal remedies available to him,” Briguez said.

CHR: No due process for sacked cadet Cudia By Vincent Cabreza Inquirer Northern Luzon 7:19 am | Saturday, March 15th, 2014


FROM GAM NEWS NETWORK- Not guilty dapat ang naging hatol kay Cadet Cudia, ayon sa CHR Date posted: Mar 14, 2014 10:57pm Reporter: Ian Cruz

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday asked the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to reinstate Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia to the PMA Corps of Cadets, saying he had not been accorded due process when he was dismissed from the PMA in February.

CHR Commissioners Ma. Victoria Cardona and Norberto de la Cruz also asked the PMA to allow Cudia to join the commencement exercises of the PMA Siklab Diwa Class of 2014 on Sunday, and to restore the dismissed cadet’s salary and benefits.

Cudia, who was running for third honors, was dismissed from the PMA on Feb. 10, for allegedly lying to justify his being late to a class. Lying is considered a major violation of the PMA’s Honor Code.

Harold Kub-aron, CHR Cordillera director, said the agency has yet to decide whether it would pursue a lawsuit against the PMA.

Manipulated

He said the CHR had been asked to address the complaint of Cudia’s father, Renato, who claimed that the hearing had been manipulated to secure a unanimous guilty verdict, a requirement before a cadet breaking the honor code can be dismissed from the academy.

The Cudia family presented on March 12 an affidavit by Commander Junjie Tabuada, head of the PMA Department of Naval Warfare, who claimed that a certain Cadet First Class Lagura, a member of the honor committee, had told him he had been pressured to change his original “not guilty” ruling.

But Col. Rozzano Briguez, the commandant of cadets, said that Lagura had executed his own affidavit and “had categorically” denied making the statement.

Unanimous or 8 to1?

Last week, the PMA’s Cadet Review and Appeals Board (Crab) examined the process taken to expel Cudia and upheld the honor committee ruling, which the new PMA superintendent, Maj. Gen. Oscar Lopez, had endorsed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines leadership on March 10.

Kub-aron said initial evidence had confirmed that the original vote cast by the honor court involved eight “guilty” votes and one “not guilty” vote, which the PMA should heed, instead of the second vote that unanimously ruled Cudia guilty of lying.

The CHR and the Crab held separate hearings on Cudia’s appeal this week, with Cardona and Dela Cruz holding closed-door sessions on Wednesday and Thursday to secure testimonies from the cadets, members of the PMA Corps of Professors and the academy’s staff.

Cudia was present in the sessions but without a lawyer, Kub-aron said.

Copy of CHR report

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND GUILTY VERDICT VS CADET ALDRIN JEFF P. CUDIA IS TOLD HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME, PUBLICLY.


FROM HIS FB TIMELINE, BERTENI 'TOTO' CATALUNA CAUSING: For the benefit of all and in the interest of fair play and justice, I am posting here a copy of the report of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) after conducting an investigation by issuing subpoenas to the concerned persons.

This is being posted so that the public may know the issues whose facts have been kept under wraps from the eyes of the curious public insisting transparency in the PMA's announced decision to dismiss Cudia upon the ground that public funds have been defrayed in the schooling and training of all students of the PMA to mold them as military leaders defending the people against aggressors (should not include rebels who are also part of the people).

In fairness to Cadet First Class Lagura, he and all other voting members of the Honorable Committee that voted on Cudia's case ADMITTED during the investigation THE EXISTENCE OF THE 8-1 VOTE.

What Lagura denied was the declaration of Navy Commander Junjie Tabuada that Lagura told the former about the 8-1 vote and that Lagura was pressured to change vote from "not guity" to "guilty" in a secret proceeding inside a secret chamber.

Stating finding that 8-1 verdict exists


Consistent with the CHR investigative mandate of the Commission to investigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights, and to conduct investigative monitoring of economic, social and cultural rights conditioins, particularly vulnerable sectors of society, CHR took cognizance of the case and pursued fact-finding investigation thereof.

FOR THE ORIGINAL COPY OF CHR REPORT: CLICK HERE


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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