MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang has affirmed the decision of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to dismiss former cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia, shattering his hopes of getting a diploma from the country’s premiere military academy.
In a letter addressed to Cudia’s parents dated June 11 and obtained by reporters yesterday, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said there was no substantial basis to overturn the findings of the military and the PMA Cadet Review Appeals Board.
“There is no competent evidence to support the claim that the decision of the honor committee members was initially at 8 ‘guilty’ votes and 1 ‘not guilty’ vote,” Ochoa said in the letter.
Ochoa said the lone affidavit of an officer based on his purported conversation with an honor committee member was “hearsay at best.”
Last February, an honor committee composed of cadets from different classes found Cudia guilty of violating the PMA Honor Code after he entered a class two minutes late and allegedly lied to justify it. Lying is a grave violation of the time-honored code and merits dismissal. A unanimous vote by the honor committee is needed to dismiss a cadet.
Cudia’s camp, however, claimed the honor committee ganged up on the cadet as it initially voted 8-1 but changed it to 9-0. Commander Junjie Tabuada, head of the PMA Naval Warfare department, submitted an affidavit stating the voting was changed in favor of Cudia’s dismissal. Tabuada claimed an honor committee member had admitted to him that he was pressured to change his vote.