Direct commission for Cudia.
Byline: ROCKY B. DENOGA,
This refers to former PMA (Philippine Military Academy) Cadet Aldrin Cudia's case. To many civilians, like Theresa Pili-Nisperos who expressed her thoughts in a letter published last March 21, the penalty meted out on Cudia is too harsh. To them the "sin" of Cudia was too minor to merit dismissal, and the Honor Committee of the PMA was too unreasonable in rendering such judgment. The PMA's honor system will never be understood by anyone who has never been a cadet in the PMA or in any military academy or school where the system is deeply instilled in the psyches of the cadets. Dismissal from the cadet corps, which adopts the Honor Code, is the only judgment that can be made on a cadet found guilty of violating the Code. The cadet can evade a dismissal order by submitting a letter of resignation. Whatever, he/she must get out or be put out!
I am not a graduate of the PMA and neither have I been a PMA cadet, but I was an aviation cadet in the Philippine Air Force Flying School (Class '66), and my training was for only a year and a half, unlike a PMA cadet's which lasts four years. But just the same, the same Honor Code is inculcated in the minds of all aviation cadets. And to all aviation cadets there is only one outcome for a cadet found guilty of violating the Code-dismissal. No ifs, ands, or buts, or anything else in between. It does not matter if the cadet is going to be an honor graduate or is just days away from graduating. He violates the Code and out he goes! Of course, not all graduates of a military school will be able to carry in his/her military career and personal life the ideals of honesty and integrity. Some will fall along the way and succumb to corruption and the like. But that is no reason to change the honor system of the PMA or military schools.
The PMA does not teach its cadets equal treatment for those who are non-PMA graduates. The present AFP chief of staff can deny this until he gets hoarse, but the Honor Code does not include this value.
Retired Brig Gen. Jose Dizon recommends that Cudia apply for a commission in the reserve force. That is where I disagree. Cudia has been trained for four years, a training far longer and more rigorous than the training of an Officer Candidate School trainee. Direct commission to the active force has been given to persons who have had far less training. That alone should qualify Cudia for a commission into the service. Whether other officers will give him the silent treatment is for him to find out. I am almost sure many non-PMA officers will not ostracize him.