The scholastic records of dismissed Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia should not be shackled just because he appealed the decision to dismiss him.
The Cudia family and Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol party-list made the appeal to the Aquino administration on Monday with Cudia set to appeal his dismissal before the Supreme Court.
Cudia has been dismissed by the PMA Honor Committee for lying about the reason on why he was late for class for two minutes, citing that such action is 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 PMA class 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. His records needed to pursue his dreams should not be shackled just because they contested the decision,” Batocabe, a lawyer, told reporters.
Cudia is supposed to graduate Salutatorian of PMA Siklab Diwa Class of 2014. And in the irony of ironies, Cudia has always scored 96 to 100 in his 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 reconsideration on the demerits slapped on him as a result of the said tardiness, not opposed it 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 her earlier days in the PMA,” the elder Cudia added.
Batocabe, for his part, noted that legislation should be in place to deal with cases similar to Cudia, considering that there is a clear conflict of interest since the members of the Honor Committee who were Cudia’s batchmates stand to benefit if Cudia is 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,” Batocabe 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. LLANESCA T. PANTI