MANILA - Eleven days before the commencement exercises for this year's batch of Philippine Military Academy cadets, it is still uncertain if Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia will be among the graduates.
In a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo, Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the matter will depend on the result of the appeal of Cudia who was initially recommended discharged for lying, which is a violation of the PMA’s Honor Code.
"There is no word until now, until we finish the review... it depends on the result of the review," said Zagala, when asked if Cudia will graduate with his more than 200 classmates in the PMA Siklabdiwa Class of 2014 on March 16.
The PMA leadership endorsed to AFP Chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista the recommendation of the PMA honor committee to administratively discharge Cudia for lying on the circumstance why he reported late for a class in November last year.
Bautista subsequently ordered a review of the case of Cudia, who was supposed to graduate as salutatorian of the class. Cudia was due to submit a written statement before a PMA review board yesterday.
Zagala said the PMA review board, which is composed of military officers, will not be swayed by public opinion.
"What is important here is we find out the facts... that will be the basis of the review and recommendation of the board," he said.
Zagala said Cudia, whose status is on leave pending the result of the review will graduate from the Academy and will become an officer if he is cleared by the board. If guilty, the cadet would have to respect the decision, he said.
"If he does show that (evidence) and he has proven that he did not lie then he has (regained) his honor, then we do not see a problem with that... if he proves his innocence -- that he did not violate the honor code -- then everybody will have to accept that he did not violate it and he regains his honor," he said.
"If in the review, it is provided that he did violate the honor code, then the decision must be respected by Cadet Cudia and by all concerned," added Zagala.