I am among those who followed the case of dismissed Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia. In my humble opinion, constructive punishment would have been the more appropriate penalty for Cudia.
By Ramon Farolan
Last month the Armed Forces of the Philippines commissioned 222 brand-new second lieutenants, all graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). Of the 222, 19 were female. A week ago, the academy took in 346 new cadets, including one Thai citizen. Of the total number which represents the largest class ever admitted to the PMA, 93 are women.
This refers to former PMA (Philippine Military Academy) Cadet Aldrin Cudia’s case. To many civilians, like Theresa Pili-Nisperos who expressed her thoughts in a letter published last March 21, the penalty meted out on Cudia is too harsh. To them the “sin” of Cudia was too minor to merit dismissal, and the Honor Committee of the PMA was too unreasonable in rendering such judgment. The PMA’s honor system will never be understood by anyone who has never been a cadet in the PMA or in any military academy or school where the system is deeply instilled in the psyches of the cadets. Dismissal from the cadet corps, which adopts the Honor Code, is the only judgment that can be made on a cadet found guilty of violating the Code. The cadet can evade a dismissal order by submitting a letter of resignation. Whatever, he/she must get out or be put out!
I thought that with the graduation of PMA Siklab Diwa Class of 2014 and after the talk President Aquino had with Aldrin Jeff Cudia and his family (where he was reportedly given the opportunity to file an appeal with the appropriate office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines), the controversy and the criticisms against the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and Cudia’s dismissal spawned would cease.
I’ve been following the case of Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia who was expelled by his own peers in the honor committee of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) for “dishonesty”—giving as reason for his getting to class late a request by the teacher of a preceding class for him to stay awhile.