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Digest Author: Cecille Mangaser

First Class Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia v. The Superintendent of the Philippine Military
Academy
GR Number 211362
Petition: Petition for Mandamus
Petitioner: First Class Cadet Aldrin Jeff P. Cudia
Respondent: The Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy, The Honor Committee of
2014 of the PMA and HC members, and the Cadet Review and Appeals Board (CRAB)
Ponente: Peralta, J.
Date: February 24, 2014
Facts:
Petitioner, Cadet First Class Cudia, was a member of the Siklab Diwa Class of 2014 of the
Philippine Military Academy. He was supposed to graduate with honors as the class salutatorian,
receive the Philippine Navy Saber as the top Navy Cadet graduate and be commissioned as an
ensign of the Navy.
Petitioner was issued a Delinquency Report (DR) because he was late for two minutes in his
ENG 412 class, other cadets were also reported late for 5 minutes. The DRs reached the
Department of Tactical Officers and were logged and transmitted to the Company of Tactical
Officers (TCO) for explanation. Cudia incurred the penalty of 11 demerits and 13 touring hours.
Several days after, Cudia was reported to the Honor Committee (HC) per violation of the Honor
Code. Lying that is giving statements that perverts the truth in his written appeal stating that his
4th period class ended at 3:00 that made him late for the succeeding class.
Cudia submitted his letter of explanation on the honor report. The HC constituted a team to
conduct the preliminary investigation on the violation, it recommended the case be formalized.
Cudia pleaded not guilty. The result was 8-1 guilty verdict and upon the order of the Chairman,
the HC reconvened in the chambers, after, the Presiding Officer announced a 9-0 guilty verdict.
The HC denied Cudias appeal. The Headquarters Tactics Group (HTG) conducted a formal
review and checking of findings. Special orders were issued placing Cudia on indefinite leave of
absence and pending approval of separation from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Cudia
submitted a letter to the Office of the Commandant of Cadets requesting his re-instatement. The
matter was referred to Cadet Review and Appeals Board (CRAB) and it upheld the decision.
Cudia wrote a letter to President Aquino but the President sustained the findings of the CRAB.
CHR-CAR issued a resolution finding probable cause for Human Rights Violations.
Issue:
1. Whether or not the PMA committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing Cudia in utter
disregard of his right to due process and in holding that he violated the Honor Code
through lying.
2. Whether or not the court can interfere with military affairs

Digest Author: Cecille Mangaser


Ruling:
1. No. The determination of whether the PMA cadet has rights to due process, education,
and property should be placed in the context of the Honor Code. All the administrative
remedies were exhausted. A student of a military academy must be prepared to
subordinate his private interest for the proper functioning of the institution. The PMA
may impose disciplinary measures and punishments as it deems fit and consistent with
the peculiar needs of the institution. PMA has regulatory authority to administratively
dismiss erring cadets. PMA has a right to invoke academic freedom in the enforcement
of the internal rules and regulations.
2. Yes. The court is part of the checks-and-balance machinery mandated by Article VIII of
the Constitution. The courts mandate (according to Section 1, Article 8) is expanded that
the duty of the courts is not only to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable but also to determine whether or not there has
been a grave abuse of discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government even if the latter does not exercise judicial, quasi-judicial, or ministerial
functions. No one is above the law, including the military, especially in violations of
Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Dispositive:
The petition is denied. The dismissal of Cudia from PMA is affirmed.