CHR, PMA clash over Cudia's fate

By Dhobie De Guzman, ABS-CBN Baguio

Posted at Mar 14 2014 12:48 PM | Updated as of Mar 14 2014 11:06 PM

BAGUIO CITY - The Commission on Human Rights is telling the Philippine Military Academy to pronounce dismissed cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia "not guilty" of violating the PMA Honor Code.

In a press conference in Baguio City Friday, the CHR said the PMA must reconsider its decision on Cudia's case following the "8 guilty, 1 not guilty" vote by the Honor Committee.

Cudia, who would have graduated salutatorian for PMA Class "Siklab Diwa of 2014", was recommended for dismissal from the Cadet Corps Armed Forces of the Philippines for violating the Honor Code for lying as to why he was late for a class.

Lawyer Harol Kub-aron of the PMA said Cudia should be granted his rights as a full-fledged graduating PMA cadet.

"The PMA should allow Cudia to graduate on Sunday," Kub-aron said.

The CHR also urged the PMA to fully cooperate in its investigation of Cudia's case.

The PMA, for its part, said Cudia's case has already been endorsed to President Aquino and that it is now up to him to decide on Cudia's fate.

The PMA has submitted a second recommendation for upholding the dismissal of Cadet Cudia to the AFP on March 20, 2014.

The AFP General Headquarters endorsed the same recommendation to the Office of the President, through the Office of the Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND).

PMA spokesperson Major Lynette Flores told ABS CBN Baguio "there is a slim chance" that Cudia will be pardoned by the President during slated graduation rites on Sunday.

She said the traditional "Declaration of Pardon" which usually comes after the President's speech during graduation rites, is intended for lower batches and not for members of the graduating batch.

The PMA also said Cudia could be required to reimburse the government the cost for his education amounting to P1.6 million.