AFP chief orders review of PMA cadet's case
MANILA, Philippines – Armed Forces chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista has stepped in and ordered the review of the alleged dismissal of a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
The family of Cadet Jeff Aldrin Cudia claimed he was in danger of being "dismissed from service" because of a "trivial matter." He was supposedly 2 minutes late for class. PMA insiders however insisted the story is "deeper."
"It has reached the attention of the chief of staff and he has ordered a reinvestigation. He is given another chance with the reinvestigation," AFP spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala told reporters on Wednesday, February 19.
Cudia was apparently found guilty of violating the PMA Honor Code which states that "cadets do not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do." His violation is not clear, though.
Under the rules of the Honor Committee, which is composed entirely of PMA students, a cadet found guilty is asked to quit the service or stay but suffer the consequence of being ostracized by PMA graduates.
The academy refuses to discuss the confidential proceedings of the Honor Committee. The case only became public after the foster parent and the sister of the cadet posted it on Facebook. (READ: 2 mins late for class, PMA cadet dismissed?)
The posts have since become viral prompting Bautista to step in. It may be the first time in recent history that the chief of staff intervened in cadet matters, according to an alumnus.
But Zagala explained: "The chief of staff is aware and is not insensitive to the clamor of the people. This prompted this reinvestigation."
In the past, some cadets found guilty of breaking the Honor Code went to court to question the verdict on them.
As chief of staff, Bautista has overall supervision of all units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines including the PMA.
Both Cudia and the Honor Committee will explain what happened. "The intent of this reinventigation is to find out the truth. It will give Cadet Cudia the opportunity to defend himself and the Honor Committee to prove its case," added Zagala.
The supposed violation happened during the term of retired Vice Admiral Edgar Abogado. He retired on Saturday, February 15, the same day PMA alumni held their annual homecoming in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City.
The new PMA suprerintendent, Major General Oscar Lopez, will now be supervising the review. – Rappler.com
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