MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has ordered the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to reinvestigate the case of graduating Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia, who was dismissed reportedly for being 2 minutes late in class and violating the Honor Code.
AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the order came after AFP chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista saw the online appeal of Cudia's sister Annavee on Facebook.
According to Annavee, her brother was slapped with 11 demerits and 13 hours of touring as punishment for his tardiness.
He was also detained at the holding center and forced to resign, she said.
When Cudia was asked why he was late, Annavee said her brother just said the truth -- that the professor in his previous class dismissed them late.
However, the Honor Committee claimed it was a lie and the Cudia violated the Honor Code. It said Cudia should have instead said that they were dismissed on time but the professor asked them to wait after class.
The PMA Honor Code states: We, the cadets, do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate among us those who do so.
"Sinabihan kasi siya at iba pang kadete ng kanilang propesor na maghintay sandali at may ibibigay na papel. Nang tinanong si Aldrin bakit siya nahuli, sabi niya sila ay nahuli ng pagdismiss ang propesor nila. Sabi ng Honor Committee ay kasinungalingan daw yun at dapat daw ay sinabi niya 'pinahintay kami ng propesor pagkatapos ng klase.' Hindi ba pareho lang naman yun?" Annavee said.
Annavee said the Honor Committee did not even give attention to the written affidavit submitted by her brother's professor, which stated that Cudia was indeed telling the truth.
"Kung sinasabi nyo na nagsisinungaling ang kapatid ko, pati ba yung propesor nagsabi na tama ang sabi ni Aldrin ay nagsisinungaling din?... Kasalanan ba ng kapatid ko na hindi sya articulate sa pagpapaliwanag at hindi niya nahulaan ang gustong marinig ng Honor Committee?"
She said the Honor Committee announced that all of its nine officials voted in favor of the dismissal of Cudia.
But she claimed that she found out that one official actually voted against Cudia's dismissal. This, however, was not included in the minutes of the meeting, she said.
Annavee said she wants justice for her brother, who was supposed to graduate with honors. Cudia, who hails from Arayat, Pampanga, topped his Navy class and is a deputy class baron, she said.
"Asan na ang tuwid na landas ni PNoy? Sya pa naman ang speaker nyo sa pagtatapos. Kung nasa PMA pa lang ay baluktot na ang hustisiya at hinahayaan ang kasinungalingan, paano pa kung nasa labas na ang mga PMA graduates? Nasaan ang dangal dito?"
"Lalaban kami. Fight the good fight of faith. Nagpapalakas sa amin ang madaming taong tumutulong at nagdadasal para samin. Kung matalo man kami, madaming tao na ang nakakaalam ng nangyari," she said. "Sa Diyos na ang hustisya." -- With report from Edwin Sevidal, dzMM