Is Kris Aquino telegraphing PNoy's position in PMA issue?
MANILA, Philippines – Renato Cudia, a former soldier and father of Cadet First Class Aldrin Jeff Cudia, remains hopeful despite the decision of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to uphold his son's dismissal.
The PMA decision has been forwarded to the military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and to Malacañang because the President is also the military's commander in chief.
"Masakit po pero at least po nakikita naming may bukang liwayway. Nakikita natin kung ano ang pagpupursige ng bawa't isa na makita ang katotohanan," Cudia told reporters on Wednesday, March 12, at the military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo. (It's painful but at least we see a ray of hope. We can see the efforts of each one to arrive at the truth.)
Accompanied by Public Attorney's Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta, Renato furnished the military top brass a copy of his son's new appeal.
Kris Aquino takes PMA's side
Renato also appealed for the intervention of President Aquino III. "Nawa po ay bigyan nila ng katarungan ang aking anak na gustong mamuhay nang mapayapa," he told ANC in an interview before the visit to Camp Aguinaldo. (May they give justice to my son who just wishes to live peacefully.)
The cadet's sister, Annavee, added: "Mr President, good morning po. Question lang po. What do you think is right? Ano po sa tingin niyo ang tama? 'Yun lang po," she told ANC. (What do you think is correct?)
Malacañang has not issued a statement on the ruling of the PMA. But presidential sister Kris Aquino has taken the side of the PMA in this debate. The question is whether or not the President shares her opinion because the Aquino family has always been known to discuss issues together. (READ: Palace: 'We have not discussed Cudia')
"I will take the other side of this. Boy, syempre nakasama namin sila through so many coup d'etats and that honor code is what saved our lives. I think, talaga, when you are willing to give your life for the country there is a certain code that you live by. If you cannot live with that code, then I guess you have no business being a part of that institution," Kris said Tuesday night during her primetime show Abunda & Kris on ABS-CBN.
Her co-host Boy Abunda had a different view. "I am personally affected. I am sad. I respect the decision of the PMA but I really don't understand," he said in Filipino.
The Cudias found a new ally in PAO's Acosta who argued that Cudia did not lie. She also questioned the committee's voting results. PAO's Baguio office has been helping Cudia since February but Acosta said she learned about the case only on Tuesday.
"For me, the issue on his alleged lie is a matter of semantics," Acosta told reporters. The same view was expressed by Commission on Human Rights chairman Loretta Rosales. CHR is also investigating if Cudia's rights were violated. (WATCH: Video: CHR probes cadet dismissal, examines honor system)
Cudia's new appeal shows evidence of supposed rigging of the voting results of the Honor Committee to change the vote from 8-1 to a unanimous 9-0. It also shows his own teacher's belief that the explanation for his tardiness was "reasonable" and not a lie. (READ: Cadet forced to vote vs Cudia)
The new evidence was not taken into consideration when the Cadet Review and Appeals Board (CRAB) revisited Cudia's case because he failed to submit it by the March 4 deadline. Cudia requested for a 15-day extension to complete his appeal but it was denied. The PMA subsequently announced its decision to uphold his dismissal, saying the CRAB found no irregularity in the honor committee's proceedings.
PAO still submitted the document to the PMA even after is announcement of the ruling.
Acosta is hoping that Cudia can join his classmates in the graduation rites on Sunday, March 16. "I am praying for a miracle," she said. "We are the lawyers of the impossible, lawyers of the hopeless," she added.
Acosta said they can bring the case to court if talks with the military hierarchy are not successful.
In Camp Aguinaldo, the appeal was received by Armed Forces deputy chief of staff for personnel (J1) Rear Admiral Philip Cacayan. Armed Forces spokesperson Major General Domingo Tutaan told reporters it will be taken up with Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista, who earlier called for a re-investigation. – Rappler.com