• Let that cadet graduate!

    Erwin Tulfo

    Erwin Tulfo

    Barely two months to go, a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) 4th year cadet was told he might not be able to graduate this coming April. Worse, he may be kicked out of our country’s topmost military school.

    The reason? He was late being present in his next class for two minutes. Cadet Aldrin Cudia is the salutatorian of the class and is set to become a second lieutenant officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) if he graduates.

    Relatives of Cadet Cudia said his professor in the earlier class dismissed Aldrin late. Unfortunately, during the investigation the professor concerned told the inquiry board that he couldn’t recall dismissing Cudia late.

    Some days later, according to the Cudia family, the same professor admitted he failed to dismiss Cudia on time so that he could have missed reaching his next class on time.

    We see, however, based on the report submitted by the PMA to the AFP Headquarters, that there is more than just being late in class to the reason that Cudia is facing expulsion from the academy.

    AFP Spokesperson Ramon Zagala said Cudia could not explain why he was late and is believed to have lied before the Honor Committee of the school.

    “Honor is strictly being observed in the academy and the students know that it is one of the rules that must be followed especially if you want to become an officer of the AFP,” Zagala said.

    Granting the kid lied, does this mean he will have to attend fourth year all over again in a different school just because of this honor system?

    Are you guys saying that all products of the PMA are honest and do not know how to lie?

    Wasn’t it that few years ago several generals and senior officers of the AFP were investigated by the Senate for pocketing funds?

    For heaven sakes…let the boy graduate!!!.

    And if he did lie, just do not let him become a member of the officers corps of the AFP, if you really insist on what you call your honor system, which I doubt is still being adhered to by all of the officers of the AFP.

    * * *

    Govt inutile in curbing black sand mining

    Time and time again we hear residents, especially those in the provinces, complain of unabated black sand mining along their riverbanks or seashores .

    The problem has been exposed by the media in the past and the attention of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was called but the problem continues and there seems no respite in black sand mining and no solution to this kind of abuse to the environment.

    Black sand is one of the components in the production of metal bars and the main ingredient in gun powder, and is used in many more ways as an industrial and construction supply.

    Surprisingly, the DENR has not lifted a finger to stop black sand mining in the countryside. Ironically, most of the mining operators or financiers are Chinese nationals but their workers are mostly locals.

    In an interview over Radyo 5 last Wednesday, DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Director Leo Jasareno said the problem is actually mainly caused by the continuing issuance of a temporary “permit to operate” by local government officials to small scale miners to mine black sand in their own localities.

    “But all of this will change once the President signs the directive ordering all local officials to stop the issuance of permits for small scale mining in their jurisdictions,” Jasareno disclosed.

    For now, black sand mining , whether with or without permit, continues not only on the riverbanks and shorelines of Northern Luzon but also in several parts of Region 3 such as in Zambales, Bataan, and Mindoro provinces.

    Well, let’s keep our fingers crossed, folks. As I have said in the past, this administration is full of talk but lackin or totally zero in action.



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    1. You people keep yapping about corrupt officials and soldiers. Isn’t this kid on its way there?

    2. I am just thinking if so happen that he is son of a general ,I doubt if this will happen..those who voted against Cadet Cudia are under the mercy of this Honor Committee ,follow them or you will be in trouble…?shameful..

    3. Russel B Molina II on

      The Honor System is a set of regulations that the cadets must adhere to while they are in PMA. Just like a school regulation in any other educational institution, this aims to instill discipline and control over the cadets while they are “still cadets” as it is clearly stated “we the cadets do not lie, cheat, steal nor tolerate among us those who do” and this words were inculcated in the mind of the cadets starting on the very first day of their cadetship. It was designed to prevent them from taking undue advantage over their fellow cadets. Cdt Cudia apparently quibbled or lied as to the reason why he was late for his next class in order to mitigate the punishment or demerits he might incur which could eventually pull him down from his current standing. As to the case of getting late to class, there is really no reason for that. But if he really lied as to what is the reason for his tardiness is another thing. And if that is true, then he has the intention to take undue advantage and did not take responsibility or face the cocequences for his actions. As a future military officer, he’ll soon be placed in situations which do not include only his grade but the lives of his men or even undermine national security but do not have the guts to suffer for the cosequences then there is no reason for him to be graduated from an institution where he is expected to abide by the rules.
      The regulations should be applied to everybody irrespective of his class standing, economic status and gender among others. He could have done the honorable thing by accepting the verdict the body and leave the Academy without further questions asked. Anyway, I can not blame him for acting like that. That’s what make us Filipinos different from other races. That when we are accused of commiting infraction to regulations be it in a small or large scale, we tend to question the verdict and worse yet is we tend to compare our offenses to others who are not in question. Just like what is happening in the PDAF case. The government have exhausted its resources for the conduct of investigation but we have yet to see a senator tends his resignation or leave of absence in order to fair proceedings. What they did was to take advantage of their privilege speech not to clear their names but to impicate their fellows. This is a total opposite of how other races value honor that it may necessarily mean their position or even their life. For us, we have became immune to the feeling of guilt and delicadeza.
      In the absence of this voluntary or open hearted acceptance of our mistakes, it should be a must that the institutions will apply the agreed punishment to erring members regardless of their ranks, status or positions.

    4. Ding Fernandez on

      Let outstanding cadet Cudia graduate! Then, it’s ok not to let him join the military, anyway this institution is “reserved only for the honest and people of integrity.”

    5. Jerrysal Mangaoang on

      Black sand cannot be a natural barrier to floods or tsunami in the coastal areas like what Tinoy said. Look at what happened to Leyte which has a lot of black and yet no mining was happening there. We need perhaps a mountain pile of black sand or sand to twarth a building high tsunami. Black sand mining is not destructive if done responsibly. What is the use of a land that is mineralized with iron? Am referring to that part in the coastal areas 200 meters away from the shoreline. The land would be of better use if the iron in it is extracted and replaced with soil for agricultural purposes. Tha Cagayan River ought to be dredged to bring it back to its former state; a deep river where small ships can even ply through. Remember during earlier times when trade and commerce by ship coming from the Pacific can enter up to the town of Lallo. What every community that has abundance of black sand is monitor if the proper municipal and provincial taxes have been properly paid

    6. Black sand mining in Cagayan is a blatant insult to the welfare of public domain.
      The reign of Impunity in this Philippine style of social order is an open season for these greedy, opportunistic, political rich who have no respect for laws of the land.
      And the National government is pretending not seeing what is going on.

    7. He violated the honor code of NOT lying. Strictly enforced in the early, primordial transformation of a true PMA’er.

      Once let loose in the active ranks of the AFP, you are more than free to lie all the time. And those shoulder metal insignias keeps adding on through the years and turned into stars that translate into powers – powers that can make you dip your hands to these the AFP Funds – like USAID military assistance to the AFP – and lie that the funds were infused to the foot soldiers’ welfare and morale and armaments – where in fact it was channeled to your private funds in collusion with your respective wives, as conduit. AND do not forget to avail of your “Pabaon” once you retired with flying honors.

    8. Ethos and ethics are separate cultural norms. While ethos is more concerned with adopted guiding beliefs that characterize a community of people, this case military fraternity, maybe reflective also of their ideology as a social grouping of the nation at large. On the ethics deals with the rules of behavior, of what is morally good or bad, of a particular culture. In both cases, however, these two norms are a function of time, place and circumstances. No less than my professor in Philisophy, Fr Jose Eliazo, S.J., drummed this our heads as people are entitled to broad mental reservation when his own personal security is threatened. Do you recall the football team that crashed on the Andes. The survivors ate the flesh of their fellow dead passengers on that Fokker plane that failed to skirt the hump; sought an audience with the Pope and sought forgiveness for their cannibalism. The Pope granted them unconditional absolution. Nothing is more telling than the anecdote shared with us in that class by Fr Eliazo about a thief who has just perfected his craft and was chased by a policeman all over the crowded streets and eskinitas of Quiapo and the poor chap was weakening and running out of breathe and could not run any further that he decided to pull out his blue shirt and sat on it and also donned his dark glasses and pretended to be a beggar with his right hand cupped and extended for alms and mercy of the passers-by. Then comes the chasing policeman who accosted him, “Did you see a man pass by here ? Here he did not pass at saka malabo po ang aking mga mata”, ang sagot ng mangdurukot. That lesson on moral ethics has lived in my heart and mind for more than 58 years now. Agree with you on your stand on this cadet, Erwin.

    9. I agree with Mr. Tulfo. That cadet must be forgiven for his unintensional fault. He does not want to commit that lying or being late in the first place. Those cadet judges could have some grudge with cadet Cudia, I, am sure, and using only the integrity-honor principal as their reason to recommend his expulsion. Yan ang style ng mga pilipino plastikan, kaya hindi umuusad ang bansa natin. Maliit lang yan na value na matutunan nila sa school, pero, pinakamatindi ang values na natutunan galing sa parents nila that will guide them throughout their career.

      • Russel B Molina II on

        What you are suggesting could be worse. For now if he can craft stories to justify his tardiness, I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future, this same person will do the same in amassing wealth out of the military funds.

    10. One time I saw the interview in the TV of the gov in Cagayan province saying and favoring the black sand mining because the capitol treasury already collected more than 200 million pesos as fees given by the BS miners and even his mayors also brag that their towns are becoming alive with so many projects with money coming from the operation of BS mining. What a shame these small brains and greedy politicians are. Do they mind the effect of such mining to the environment or more seriously its repercussions of such indiscriminate extraction of sand lying in the coastal areas as natural defense against flooding, storm surge or tsunamis or whatever is its usefulness there that is being taken out and in the long run adversely affect the lives of thousands of people living in the vicinity?


      Not all the Product of the Philippine Military Academy are honest. I know that honesty and integrity should come first, however, are we talking about the integrity of the Academy and the people running it. I beleive in first time offender and ccould rehabilitated. Unfortunately, we are wasting a good future Officer who could think
      and use his brain in term of national security. Please dont waste it, would you rather him to be the commander of the NPA.

      • Russel B Molina II on

        This maybe is the reason why we have the likes of Gen Garcia, Ligot, Rabusa and just recently Lt Marcial just because they have evaded the Honor System while they were still cadets. Mind you, they may have been reported for similar offenses but made their way through because at least one voting member believed they were innocent perhaps. Just thinking loud…

    12. Anoy has failed the Phl in so many ways. How is it you find any hope in him still? Time to cut our losses!