Release of Cudia’s PMA diploma sought

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The scholastic records of dismissed Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia should not be withheld just because he appealed the decision to dismiss him, his family said.

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The Cudia family and Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol party-list on Monday urged the Aquino administration to intervene as Cudia is set to appeal his dismissal before the Supreme Court.

The cadet was dismissed by the PMA Honor Committee for lying about the reason he was late for class for two minutes. The academy said such action was a violation of the PMA Honor Code which states that: Cadets should not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those among them who do so.

As a result, Cudia was not allowed to graduate with the PMA Siklab Diwa Class of 2014.

“He already fell down and hard, why do you have to kick him further? It has been very difficult for him and his parents. The records needed to pursue his dreams should not be shackled just because they contested the decision,” Batocabe, a lawyer, told reporters.

Cudia was supposed to graduate Salutatorian of his class. He has always scored 96 to 100 in Conduct in his four years in the PMA.

“He can still be a productive member of society. Why make his life even more difficult?” Batocabe added.

Cudia’s father Renato, for his part, argued that his son merely asked for reconsideration of the demerits slapped on him as a result of his tardiness but did not opposed them altogether.

“He merely asked for reconsideration. He did not say he doesn’t want the demerits. The decision should be black and white. They can just say, no, there’s no reconsideration. Why take it further and take his move to ask for reconsideration against him by dismissal?” the elder Cudia lamented.

“We are not against the Honor Code. We are just pleading for his diploma so he can move on and pursue being a lawyer so he can help other people. He has been with us for 18 years. He is not a bad person. We raised him as a God-fearing person. If he is really what they think he is, he should have been punished in his earlier days in the PMA,” Cudia’s father added.

Batocabe, for his part, noted that legislation should be in place to deal with cases similar to Cudia, considering that there was a clear conflict of interest since the members of the Honor Committee who were Cudia’s batchmates stood to benefit if Cudia were removed from their ranks.

“It would be an injustice to let him suffer like this. He wasn’t allowed to graduate, fine. But to deprive him of his diploma and other records so he can pursue other things would be injustice. We should look on having the courses he took in the PMA being credited to a regular university’s curriculum in graduate studies or law school,” the solon stressed.

“We can’t close everything for him. This is a very unique situation that really needs legislation based on humanitarian consideration,” Batocabe added in closing.

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