BAGUIO CITY: President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Sunday encouraged the graduating cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to observe the Honor Code even after they have left the academy.
Aquino, the military’s commander-in-chief, said the graduates should continue to be guided by the PMA rules of “honesty, loyalty, and integrity” since it embodies the true meaning of service to their bosses, the Filipino people.
“If it’s our duty to implement the Honor Code in this institution, then we should also uphold it outside the PMA,” the President said in his speech before the 2014 Class Siklab Diwa, an acronym for Sundalong Ikinararangal ng Lahing Bayani sa Diwang Wagas.
The code has been under a cloud of controversy after the academy dismissed Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia weeks before the graduation rites.
Cudia supposedly violated the code by lying about his tardiness in one class.
The President has ordered Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista to investigate the case of Cudia after listening to the cadet’s concerns on Saturday.
Aquino met Cudia and his family for about two hours at The Mansion, the presidential summer residence in Baguio, on the eve of the academy’s commencement rites.
“If lying is not allowed in class and to our fellow cadets, then we should also not allow soldiers to deceive their fellow men and break the Constitution?,” he said.
The President hopes that cadets will apply the principles they learned in the academy not to give in to temptations in the real world.
“If cheating in exams is strictly prohibited, then we should also avoid corruption such as when procuring military weaponry,” he said.
“If there’s punishment against cadets who steal from fellow cadets, then help prosecute those who steal public funds,” he added.
The President mentioned his speech that the government will acquire new military equipment, including at least 20 aircraft.
He also announced the purchase of 63,000 new rifles to replace the decades-old guns that the country’s soldiers still use.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE