What happened to Cudia’s case?

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By Dennis Limlingan

The Advocate

Monday, May 26, 2014


WHILE all eyes and ears of observers are all focused on the long-time running saga of pork barrel scam, people must have forgotten the case of former Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia.

Citizen Cudia, to recall his case, was dismissed from “the Academy” when he was accused of lying to his professor as a result of his being late for two minutes in class. He was on his first class study (4th year) study then at the military institution when he was thrown out of the institution.

He should, in fact, graduate from the PMA salutatorian when his verdict to be expelled came out, a couple of months before his supposed graduation and commission to the Philippine Navy as a naval officer.

He appealed his case and was even put into limelight when his sister blew the whistle on what they did to his brother, including the alleged rigging of the votes of the Honor Committee that came out with the decision to finally oust Cudia from the roster of graduating students.

Then on a holding center, Cudia has attracted various comments from the uniformed active and retired men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), from other government officials, from the media, and even from ordinary laymen who most of them expressed sympathy to him and cried foul on the honor system being implemented at PMA.

Some called for the rectification of the system and the weeding out of biased officers of the AFP who pinned down on Cudia despite some reasonable doubts on the decision of the Committee.

Many Kapampangans blamed the culture of regionalism that must have aggravated the plight of Cudia and even prolonged his agony of waiting of the verdict on him prior to his supposed graduation.

Regionalism or tribalism somehow affects military or police organizations with the minority being treated second class or outsiders.

The latest spate on citizen Cudia’s fight for honor was the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) findings that his rights were violated as a cadet and as a citizen when he was not given ample due process for his cause. The commission has promised Cudia and his family that justice shall finally be served as it filed a case against possible human rights violators on his person.

It was a sham trial said the commission and that Cudia’s peers should be held liable for the young man’s dismissal and non-inclusion in the list of graduates of his class. This was found out after the CHR has conducted its own investigation.

Citizen Cudia, meanwhile, has asked the Supreme Court to consider the Commission on Human Rights' findings that he was not guilty of the allegations as earlier decided by the PMA.

In his motion filed with the high court, he asked the tribunal to admit the CHR's investigation report calling the PMA trial as a pretense.

With the pendency of Cudia’s case, nothing has been ever heard of him, including his fate, on his dreamt military career. Nothing yet is also clear on possible liability of other cadets who decided to oust him and their academy’s officials who handled Cudia’s case.

The flame of his cause may have been overtaken by events or overshadowed by personalities now grabbing the limelight. The intensity of Cudia’s fight, not to be reinstated in the military but merely to clear his name may have withered in the eyes of some.

As his fellow Kapampangan, we should never let the flame of Cudia’s fight die down. Although he is not anymore interested to join the military service, he was proven to be innocent of the accusations against him which led to his dismissal.

What is clear with the Cudia case is the fact that he rocked the military institution and exposed the rotting system in the academy wrapped under the cloak of superficial honor. He may not be famous as other whistleblowers are, but his act of battling it out to clear his name has made him a whistleblower on what is happening inside and out the academy.

If he indeed lied about his being late and was dismissed from the academy later on, then, more heads should have been rolled with the present lying activities of many government officials who despite the strength of evidence against them, kept of denying their acts have the gall to declare their innocence.

I hope the cause of this young man to clear his name shall not be put to vain. His fight is worth his cause.

--oo0oo--

For any comments, ideas, suggestions or opinions, text or call The Advocate at 09213636360 or send email at dencious@yahoo.com.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 27, 2014.

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