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For insisting on honor, PMA reaps brickbats

/ 12:01 AM April 01, 2014

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 was wrong. Public criticism against the PMA and its honor system continues, and I feel I have to defend an institution that has nurtured and molded three generations of my family and inculcated in them the virtues of honor, integrity, courage and loyalty.

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What is this world coming to when brickbats instead of praise are thrown at an institution that tries to instill in its students discipline and proper moral values? In this, the PMA is like a good parent who tries to teach his/her children the correct value system in the hope that they will one day turn out to be honest, good and model citizens of our country. It may not be 100-percent foolproof considering that the PMA has complete charge of the cadet only after he/she reaches the age of 17, when he/she may have already imbibed undesirable habits and values from people he/she may have come in contact with in the “outside world” prior to his/her acceptance by the PMA—like people who think there should be a distinction between a small lie and a big lie.

This is my answer to those who have ridiculed the PMA’s honor system because of the corruption cases in which some of its alumni are implicated, and to the “righteous” who have taken a condescending attitude toward PMA cadets and alumni, claiming it is they who have been paying for their studies at the PMA. Who, among all the students and alumni of the various public schools in this country, have been paying a very stiff price for this privilege of a public school education? Who of them have been repaying with their very lives their government-paid education? All these unkind words have been very hurtful to PMA alumni especially those who have been serving the country with honor, dedication and distinction, and to the many others who have died so that their countrymen may be free to live in peace.

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I write this in defense of an institution which has trained and educated my late father, my late brother, two nephews and a niece-in-law. I write this in memory of my father who so loved the PMA and the virtues and values it stands for that he chose to be buried with the PMA seal over his heart.

It will take more than the Cudia controversy to destroy an institution as old and as revered as the PMA, but I think it is about time Cudia rethought his fitness for military service because a person who violates the Honor Code and who does not know how to obey even his commander in chief, preferring to bring his case to the Supreme Court instead, will just be a liability to the military where obedience and word of honor can spell the difference between the life and death of the soldiers a PMA graduate will be tasked to lead.

—MYRNA M. DIZON,

[email protected]

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TAGS: Aldrin Jeff Cudia, Honor Code, Philippine Military Academy, PMA, Siklab Diwa
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