Limlingan: Cadet Cudia's Case-A A +A
Monday, February 24, 2014
IT WAS bad news for the family, relative, friends and the kabalens of Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia after he has been dismissed from the Corp of Cadets of the country's premier military training institution, the Philippine Military Academy.
Cudia, who hails from Barangay Gatiawin in Arayat town, is supposed to
graduate top 2 or salutatorian of the "Siklab Lahi" Class of 2014. He
is also set to graduate as the top navy Cadet and the recipient of the
Philippine Navy Saber for being the top cadet who will join our Philippine fleet after graduation.
His dismissal emanated from being late in his next class and when his professor asked him why he was late, he reasoned out that his professor prior to his next class where he was late for two minutes, asking them to stay a little moment.
The professor, not being satisfied with the justification, accused Cudia of lying and that it was them (cadets) who asked their previous professor that they will stay for a while in their precious class.
The incident was brought before the Honor Committee, composed of cadets from the 1st year to 4th year (4th to 1st class), which ruled out for the dismissal of Cudia. He was accused of violating the Honor Code by his peers not for being late for two minutes in class but for allegedly lying to one of the professors in the Academy. One of the committee member meanwhile believed that Cudia was not lying.
Cudia's sister Avee meanwhile comes to the defense of his brother saying that Aldrin Jeff was simply inarticulate to explain to his professor what really transpired and that he was not actually lying but merely had a wrong use of words for his explanation.
Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff has already ordered the PMA superintendent Maj. Gen. Oscar Lopez, to reopen the case last week to dig deeper on the matter and to give hope to Cudia's on his predicament.
The Honor Code of the PMA bounds the Corp of Cadets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Code is so sacred for them that they are instilled with the principle that "cadets do not lie, cheat nor tolerate among them those who do."
While the Honor Committee believes that Cudia lied, I am of the impression that he was merely singled out and that he was probably been harassed by his peers.
An acquaintance of mine, who has been a graduate of the PMA and is now a junior officer of the Philippine Army has told me one time while he was still a cadet at the academy that Kapampangans experience discrimination among other cadets who come from other provinces. Cudia perhaps was a victim of such since tribalism or regionalism seems to exist at the said institution.
Cudia came from a poor family. His father was a former soldier as well as his mother. He has three siblings who experienced hardships in life. Their parents came to a point in their lives that they have to sell their wedding rings to keep their children in their schooling.
The Cudia children have candies for their snacks, since they cannot afford to have anything to eat during their class breaks. The family's being poor somehow led the children to strive hard in their schooling. For them, having an education is their key to succeed and the weapon to fight poverty.
To this date, the re-investigation of Cadet Cudia's case is still on-going, with his fate and career still hangs. Let us hope that the truth, justice and fair play will come out in the end.
As this developed, the whole Municipality of Arayat has expressed their utmost support for Cudia. Being a resident of Arayat, posters and streamers manifesting the support for the cadet were posted in conspicuous places.
The Sangguniang Bayan (S.B.) of Arayat meanwhile, under the leadership of Vice-Mayor Ramon Changcoco, is set to come up with a Resolution that expresses support to their beleaguered "son" at the academy. Of course, a kabalen is always a kabalen.
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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 25, 2014.