The Code of Honor and Cudia

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By Evangeline Murillo

Tea For Two

Thursday, April 10, 2014


"A CADET does not lie. He always tells the truth regardless of the consequences. He does not quibble or make evasive statements. A cadet does not cheat. He does not defraud others nor does he take undue advantage of them. Whatever credit he earns in any cadet activity is wholly his own. A cadet does not steal. He does not take the personal property of another without the latter’s consent. He does not keep for himself anything that he finds which does not belong to him. A cadet does not do any of these things and he does not tolerate any violations of the Code. He is bound to report any breach of the code that comes to his attention. He does not countenance by inaction any honor violation; if he were to, he becomes a party to such violation and he himself is as guilty as the original violator.” ( From the PMA Code of Honor)
Jeff Cudia told a little lie. He said he was dismissed later in a previous class, that was why he was late. For most people and especially for mothers and doting fathers, this lie could be simply dismissed as a joke or something insignificant. Not so for the Honor Committee of the Philippine Military Academy, our prestigious military school in Baguio.

The above code shows the policies and values that the academy lives by.

No more, no less. A lie no matter how little or seemingly significant, is still a lie.

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Reflecting on this, I was first surprised at this "flimsy" lie that many people can tell and do tell but go freely living their life without remorse. It's a lie many of us would condone, forgive, smile about and dismiss. On second thought, the PMA is an institution with policies, rules and values to live by. These rules and the very special Honor Code, are the essence of PMA’s existence. Remove them, and no PMA exists. An institution thrives only if there is a motivating force and value that keep it alive. So anyone who enters this institution must live by its rules, practise its values and honor them. Not to do so is in conflict with the academy and warrants questioning or dismissal.

If a person can tell a little lie when it’s not even needed to do such thing, or when it cannot even be considered a “white lie,” imagine what lies can be told later ranging from the insignificant to the horrendous and horrible. No, perhaps this idea cannot be generalized. We cannot conclude that if a person tells a little lie now, he can tell big lies later. This only remains to be seen. But then again, it follows in human behaviour that what is done in the present is a window to what can be done in the future. It mirrors what may happen but perhaps, the present cannot accurately foretell the future. It can only give a glimpse of it.

Many say there are worst liars in government and in many other institutions. Some officials of our nation are guilty of this, so why not forgive a little lie which is nothing compared to the pork barrel scam haunting the nation? PMA’s Honor Code states that "Our Code does not deviate from the universal concept of Honor. It demands the truth ...

nothing else, but the truth ... both by act and implication. Each cadet becomes a zealous guardian to this earmark of the Corps and will report another or himself for a violation of honor. It is in keeping this priceless legacy from our predecessors that we seek to transmit it unblemished to the unending gray line."

Yes, Baguio, the PMA must live its honor and truth and any violation of it in any form attacks its very presence. Our military school must hone the youth into our finest and our best, so that when their turn comes at governing and leading our people, our nation may not fall short of good men and women known for their truth and honor! By that time, we shall be happier and prouder as a nation. Live in truth and honor, Baguio!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 11, 2014.

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