MANILA -- While the case of Cadet First Class Jeff Aldrin Cudia continues, President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday pardoned all “outstanding punishments” of all underclass men.
Aquino announced during the graduation of the 2014 Siklab Diwa class of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City that he has pardoned “all outstanding punishments of the underclass men: second class, third class, fourth class of the Cadet Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as recommended by the superintendent PMA effective today.”
While this is already the tradition when a batch graduates, it also highlights the case of Cudia who was earlier dismissed for allegedly violating the academy’s Honor Code when he supposedly lied when got into class two minutes late.
The Honor Code prescribes that a cadet should “not lie, cheat, steal.”
Cudia, who accused the honor committee of grave abuse of discretion after its members changed its 8-1 vote to 9-0, has lost his appeal several times. The decision of the committee should be unanimous.
On Sunday, Cudia was not around when his “mistahs” marched in front of the commander-in-chief.
Malacanang insists, however, that his case is not yet over even when Aquino decided on Saturday Cudia will not be joining the graduation rites.
“It was agreed that CDT 1CL CUDIA will not graduate tomorrow, without prejudice to whatever will be the result of their new appeal, which is now elevated to [Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista] whom the President directed to investigate,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Saturday.
In his speech during the ceremony for the Siklab Diwa class, Aquino urged the graduates to follow the Honor Code even if they have already stepped out of the academy. He did not mention anything on Cudia’s case.
In a separate radio interview over at dzRB on Sunday, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma explained it’s not the end for Cudia.
He said Aquino personally met with the cadet specifically to hear him out.
“Kaya makakaasa po tayo na binigyan ng sapat na pagkakataon ng ating Pangulo si Cadet Cudia na mailahad ang kanyang saloobin at ang kanyang panig hinggil sa kasong naiharap sa kanya sa PMA Honor Committee, at ito po ang batayan sa ginawang aksyon para hingin sa kanya ‘yung pagsusulat ng isang written appeal para ma-formalize lahat po ng inilahad niya sa ating Pangulo sa kanilang pagkikita kahapon,” Coloma said.
Like the rest of the nation, Aquino wants to know the whole truth, he said.
“Iyan na nga po ang layunin ng ating Pangulo sa pakikipag-usap kay Cadet Cudia at sa kanyang pamilya kahapon—‘yun pong malaman ang buong katotohanan at maging makatwiran at makatarungan ang pagpapasya sa kanyang kaso,” Coloma said.