Aldrin Jeff Cudia, a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy, has been accused of lying about being two minutes late to class, and found guilty by a committee made up of his peers.
Cudia, a senior cadet, is now being prevented from joining next month’s graduation march, to the ire of Filipinos.
Now General Emmanuel Bautista, armed forces chief of staff, has ordered officials at the academy to investigate what happened, with an eye toward letting Cudia join in the march.
An anonymous source told the Manila Standard that Bautista instructed academy officials “to give another chance for Cudia to explain his side.”
Major General Oscar Lopez, superintendent at the academy, has been tasked with heading up the investigating.
Cudia was reportedly a star cadet but was detained after allegedly lying about why he was two minutes late for class.
Cudia told his tactical officer that he was late because he had been dismissed late from the previous class.
His sister Annavee said via Facebook that the committee decided Cudia was lying because he should have said “‘My professor asked me to wait after class.’ Aren’t the two responses similar?” she said.
“Is my brother at fault for not being articulate and for not anticipating what the honor committee wanted to hear him say?” she asked.
Aldrin was given 13 hours of touring, where a cadet goes around campus in full uniform with a firearm, duffle bag, and rain coat.
“When Aldrin was asked why he was late, he (said) that their professor dismissed them late, but the honor committee said it was a lie,” Annavee said, adding that classmates who were also tardy only got eight demerits and eight hours touring.
Annavee claims that Cudia has been detained for a month.
His situation is worse than pork barrel scam suspect Janet Lim-Napoles. He is not allowed visits, not even from the PMA chaplain. The commandant of cadets has announced that he had been discharged, and all because he was tardy for two minutes,” she said in Filipino.
A father of a foster son told the Philippine Inquirer that Cudia is not the only one facing this situation.
He said that his son was excluded from graduation because he turned his head during the final examination, for which he was accused of cheating.
It’s unclear if these students are still allowed to graduate despite not being able to join the march.