PMA cadet elevates case to SC

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Friday, March 14, 2014


MANILA (Updated) -- Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop his dismissal and allow him to join the graduation rites on Sunday in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City.

Cudia also urged the High Court in a petition filed last Monday to award his academic honors and make him part of the Philippine Navy "if all the material requirements for his baccalaureate degree have been completed" in time for the commencement exercises.

Cudia called for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or status quo ante order (SQAO) to stop the PMA from approving the guilty verdict of the Honor Committee, which was the basis for separating him from the elite military school.

The SC has yet to grant his request as the PMA leadership affirmed on Tuesday the report of the Cadet Review and Appeals Board (CRAB), which sided with the recommendation of the committee to expel Cudia for allegedly lying on his two-minute class tardiness, a violation of the PMA Honor Code.

Only President Benigno Aquino III, the commander-in-chief, can order his separation since he was the one who appointed Cudia to become part of the PMA Corps of Cadets.

Yet even if Aquino reverses Cudia's misfortune, the PMA said it would still not allow the cadet from Pampanga to graduate as he has yet to finish his on-the-job training.

A favorable decision for the PMA, meanwhile, would mean Cudia is dishonorably discharged from the military institution and he has to return nearly P2 million, which is the amount spent by the government for his four-year education.

Cudia accused the nine-member committee of manipulating the process to change the result of the voting from 8-1 to 9-0.

A cadet can only be expelled through a unanimous vote.

The PMA cadet, who was supposed to graduate third in the "Siklab Diwa" Class of 2014, asked the SC to nullify the proceedings done by his peers, citing grave abuse of discretion.

The petition was raffled off to the SC Third Division. (Sunnex)

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