CHR: PMA Cadet Cudia “not guilty” of lying

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has found cadet Jeff Aldrin Cudia not guilty of the offense he was charged with, and recommended to President Aquino that he be issued a diploma as a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy.

After its investigation, the CHR also recommended the filing of administrative, civil and criminal  charges, particularly perjury, against the 13 members of the PMA’s honor committee who had earlier decided to remove Cudia from the ranks of PMA graduates last February.

The 13-member PMA honor committee, which consisted of Cudia’s peers, had decided to remove Cudia from the PMA after it allegedly found him guilty of “lying” when he explained the reason why he was two minutes late for a class.

Cudia was supposed to graduate second in PMA “Siklab Diwa” Class of 2014 if he had not been removed by the PMA honor committee.

The CHR said the decision to dismiss Cudia from the PMA and not to allow him to graduate in March was not justified since he had not violated the PMA’s honor code in explaining the reason why he was late in attending a class.

The CHR’s investigation also said it was clear that the PMA’s honor committee committed a grievous error, and that its members were the ones who violated the PMA’s honor code and secrecy of ballot.

Under the written rules of the Honor Committee, only a unanimous vote is sufficient to convict.

But according to the CHR’s investigation, members of the PMA honor committee pressured one of its members to verbally change his vote from “not guilty” to “guilty,” although that honor committee member had already submitted a written vote of “not guilty.”

The PMA Honor Committee is composed of selected cadets with high moral ascendancy among the PMA corps who are in charge of strictly implementing the PMA honor code which states, “We, the cadets, do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate among us those who do so.”