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Cudia may be allowed to graduate

By The Standard | Mar. 06, 2014 at 12:01am

The fate of embattled Philippine Military Academy cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia hangs in the balance as he awaits the final outcome of the review of his dismissal from the academy resulting from an alleged breach of the honor code among PMA cadets.

The result of the review would determine if Cudia would be allowed to graduate and join the PMA graduation rites on April 16.

Cudia was penalized by the honor committee for lying, but a month after the controversy, PMA authorities have yet to come out with a decision pending the result of the review.

On Wednesday, there were unverified reports that the PMA may reconsider the case in favor of Cudia, who had filed a countercharge against six classmates who are members of the committee who had ruled against him and found him guilty of lying.

Cudia’s countercharges, in turn, also put his classmates’ fates in the balance, fueling talks that PMA officials may reverse Cudia’s verdict to spare  the institution from further embarrassment.

But should Cudia be allowed to join the graduation rites, he would still be considered honorably dismissed from the military service and would not be allowed to enter any military service.

Efforts to solicit comment on the status of Cudia’s case proved futile as PMA officials had apparently decided to keep mum on the issue.

AFP Public Affairs head, Col. Rafel Zagala, however, confirmed that Cudia’s case has yet to be resolved, saying that “there is no word until now, until we finish the review.”

When asked on the possibility that the PMA would allow Cudia to join the graduation rites next month, Zagala said that it would “really depend really on the result of the review.”

“Again, we do not have the information until matapos yung review and until the graduation happens.”

Meanwhile, a list of the PMA graduating class had included the name of Cudia in the academy’s website, after it went offline for still unknown reasons.

In the list, Cudia, who was previously ranked second in his class, dropped to No 73.

Zagala, however, refused to speculate whether the website was hacked or had simply encountered technical problems.

He added that the AFP would have to first “look into why a list was released through a website that is appearing to be that of the Philippine  Military Academy.”

Zagala said that according to PMA spokesperson  Maj. Lynett Flores, the list did not come from the school’s official website.

“We would have to determine on the reasons of such,  but definitely that is not a practice in the Philippine Mili0tary Academy wherein a list of graduates are given,” Zagala said.

A week after Cudia filed a countercharge against his six classmates, Flores said the six would also be subjected to trial, which he said, may also affect Cudia’s fate.

Flores said Cudia’s own honor report or counter charges will also be evaluated based on their merits.

“They will study if the (Cudia’s) report has merits and if there is, it may mean that there was a possible violation,” Flores said.

She explained that the six cadets will also have to undergo preliminary investigation to determine if they indeed committed a violation in rendering a judgment recommending Cudia for dismissal.

“After the preliminary investigation, and if there are possible violations, they will recommend a formal investigation or a trial, but as of now there’s no determination yet,” Flores said.

She added that the outcome of the trial against Cudias’ six classmates will remain confidential, with even officials at PMA denied access t/o its content.

“Supposedly, if a cadet is found guilty, the cadet will slowly and silently leave the academy so he will not suffer the embarrassment of being an honor violator,” Flores said.

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