Philippine Military Academy (PMA) First Class Cadet Jeff Cudia has practically lost all his chances to graduate on March 16 for his failure to submit on time his appeal to the institution’s honor committee and failure to complete his academic requirements.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala on Sunday said that Cudia, for the third time, has requested for another 15-day extension, which has affected the early resolution of his case.
Zagala explained that the cadet was supposed to submit his appeal to the PMA honor committee on February 24 but requested permission to furnish it to the panel the next day, which he failed to do.
On February 25, he made a handwritten request to the committee to give him until March 4 to submit his appeal. However, Cudia again failed to do so and, instead, asked for another 15-day extension.
Zagala, for his part, said he has no idea if the latest request for extension was granted.
Cudia’s repeated failure to submit his appeal, according to Zagala, stalled the deliberation of the honor committee, which earlier ordered his dismissal from the PMA for lying, which is a violation of the honor code and the honor system of the military institution.
Zagala also disclosed that a check with the PMA revealed that Cudia has not completed his OJT or on the job training, which is part of the academic requirements.
“I called up the PMA in order to make sure if he finished all the academic requirements and OJT is part of the academic requirements. So by virtue [of the fact]that he was not able to finish his OJT, he would not be able to join [the graduation ceremony],” he added.
Zagala, however, stressed that he cannot finally declare that Cudia would not be able to graduate since the honor committee has yet to finish its review. He admitted, on the other hand, that the review process would not be finished by March 16 or on the day of the scheduled graduation.
He pointed out that Cudia has been accorded due process, including the review of his case as ordered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, which, Zagala stressed, is unique and has never been done before.
“We have given Cadet Cudia all the things that are not given to other cadets, the honor code, and the honor system is very absolute. One you are found guilty of violating the honor code and the honor system there is only one way out and that’s separation,” Zagala said.
“He was already separated but he is given another chance, others don’t have that chance,” the military spokesperson said.
Zagala said that “the ball is now on Cudia’s court,” stressing that had he only submitted his appeal and presented new evidence showing that he did not lie on time, the review would have continued and he could have finished his OJT.