The case of PMA Cadet Cudia
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
What a sad day yesterday must have been for the family of Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia, when the graduation ceremonies for Batch 2014 of the Philippine Military Academy were held without him.
As the whole country now knows, Cudia was deprived of graduation because he had violated the academy’s Code of Honor by allegedly telling a lie. For that his penalty was severe and swift. He would not be allowed to graduate with the 223 others he had worked and studied with throughout the course.
Several government agencies and other groups came to the defense of Cudia, all feeling that the punishment was not only too harsh, he had also been deprived of due process. Among those that came to help him were the Commission on Human Rights and the Public Attorney’s Office who also felt that the cadet should have been granted his right to due process.
But the PMA officialdom was adamant, they had spoken, and said only a presidential order could make them recall their decision. Unfortunately for Cudia and his family, not even an audience with the President gave them hope. And so the graduation rites went on as scheduled, with the President himself as guest speaker, without Cudia.
But perhaps we cannot blame the PMA officials, heartless as they may seem. They must be thinking about some of their products whose behavior in the service had not exactly been that of the officers and gentlemen they were expected to be, and had even smeared the reputation of their school.
Remember the cases of those so-called euro-generals, and the one whose family acquired millions of pesos and dollars and several prime real estate holdings besides? And so many others now also facing charges involving dishonesty, graft and corruption?
The treatment of Cudia should send a strong message, not only to his classmates, but also to all military and police personnel, what kind of morals are expected of them, and how they will be dealt with for infractions they commit.*