Why cadet Cudia’s case has played out on social media like an EDSA revolution

I don’t pretend to know much about the nitty-gritty of military life. In fact, the closest I ever came to experiencing it involved being an officer in the Citizen’s Army Training (CAT) program in high school, and being a normal cadet in the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in college.

If anyone cares to notice in my past two articles on the military and cadet Aldrin Cudia’s case with the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), I haven’t really said much on whether or not I think the ruling per se by the Honor Committee itself is bullshit. That’s just me; whatever I may think personally about their ruling, the point is their ruling has been made, and must be respected. If there is a question with any ruling, then several established processes are there to be followed to have it reconsidered in a structured manner.

edsa-ii-2I approached this issue, however, from a big picture institutional perspective. This kind of perspective relies less on the nitty-gritty and technicalities of military society, and more on the simple question of whether institutions and rules are being followed and strengthened or not.

Ultimately, this is the biggest problem of Filipino civilian society: rules and institutions are blatantly disregarded, much less being consistently followed in it.

All over social media, there is talk about how the military is allegedly corrupt – a conclusion seemingly reached based solely on Mr. Cudia’s case – and that the chattering classes are doing their part of “bringing awareness to it” in hopes of reforming the military “to rid it of corruption”

Social media as a source for social change and reform does not and will never have a reliable track record, especially while what dominates the discussion of issues are the wrong arguments and the views of the poorly-educated. The focus is on grandstanding, and on the droll, petty and unimportant matters.

There’s one very tiny detail that the social media brats seem to be overlooking: Aldrin Cudia willingly subjected himself to such rules for four (4) years. As such, it was his personal responsibility to make sure that he abide by them without fail at all times.

The “indignant” civilians on social media should not have presumed na magmalinis and to point a finger at the military that it is the sole corrupt and dishonorable institution when their own society is replete with examples of gasbags who lie, cheat, steal, and tolerate among themselves those who do so. Some of them even become government leaders.

It takes one to know one.

As I’ve been asserting ad infinitum, if there is indeed any corruption within the military ranks – and there probably is – then it is impossible and ultimately pointless to attribute such corruption to the military as an institution alone. The military ultimately draws its “raw material” and mandate from the civilian sovereign society that it has sworn to protect. As such, the military and civilian societies not only go hand in hand, they are inseparable.

As “raw material” for military service, Filipino civilians are inherently flawed by design due to their damaged and dysfunctional culture. Some of them overcome these flaws; others don’t. So guess what: the best way to overcome that flaw is to dismantle that “raw material” and build it back up so that the flaws and rough edges are chipped off. Which the military as an institution has a history of doing. Very well, I might add.

Those indignant civilians on social media act just like the morons in Edsa Dos who were supposedly from the “educated” classes and who utterly disregarded the institution of the popular, democratic vote which the masa used to put Joseph “Erap” Estrada into office. These morons took to the streets in an extralegal manner when they found that the procedures as prescribed by their democratic institutions didn’t yield the result that they wanted. And now, the morons are being replicated on social media where they proclaim to know with certainty that the PMA was remiss in following its own rules.

That’s a point that will fly over the Filipino “educated” heads: just because they don’t like the result of the popular democratic vote, how can they say that the system didn’t work? In the same way, how can they definitely say that the entire PMA system is corrupt, just because Cudia was dismissed?

To Filipino civilian society, violation of an honor code is small, insignificant, forgivable, rampant, and commonplace. To the military, however, it spells the difference between life and death for soldiers.

Mr. Cudia did not graduate this year, and he’s going to be made out as a martyr on social media if he hasn’t been already. To the nagmamarunong and nagmamalinis Filipino social media brats, he will stand as an example of a reason the PMA and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should be abolished. To those who can relate to the military as an institution, or know better and can appreciate what honor is, Mr. Cudia will simply be yet another statistic added to the cadets and soldiers who have failed to uphold the tradition of honor that the AFP and PMA uphold and demand.

Mr. Cudia allowed his sister to play-out the victim card for him on social media. He had seemingly tried to gain popular support for his case in an extra-institutional manner. Tough luck and too bad na lang, for Cudia and his fantards (a term coined by a friend with relatives in the military) that the military does not decide cases based on popular and public opinion.

You don’t need to be a soldier in uniform to truly grasp the essence of what it means to be honorable. One would simply have to accept the consequences of his/her actions, take steps to correct the wrong in them, resolve not to repeat his/her mistake, and move on.

Filipinos will do well to emulate, and even exceed the example of the military on what it means to live with honor – to live with propriety, and a strict code that does not permit wrongdoing. Instead, Filipinos use words like “honor”, “code”, and “loyalty” as a punch line. On occasion, Filipino civilians who go into the military simply fail to quash and reform the inherently corrupt and dishonorable nature of being Filipino once they step inside, and more so when they exit the strict regimented environment of the academy.

As such, Filipino civil society will simply continue to sound like a bunch of emo, hypocritical, pa-victim, whiny, hypersensitive cry-babies, just because they don’t get the results they wanted when they clearly don’t play by the rules. And especially when they avoid any sense of personal accountability.

Filipinos – please, don’t go around pretending that you know about honor, code, loyalty, military laws, procedure, protocol, and other military technicalities.

[Photo courtesy: thefilipinoservant.wordpress.com]

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About FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

Post Author: FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

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48 Comments on "Why cadet Cudia’s case has played out on social media like an EDSA revolution"

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joeld
Guest
It is quite unfair to say that PMA and all other military institution as corrupt based on Cudia’s case and also on how some of their graduates turned out. How the academy moulds their cadets are really just that…. militaristic, which in a way is good, if you will be serving your life in the military. Such virtues as honesty and integrity are heavily practiced within the academy, which is very good. The thing with the pinoy is they all like to twist things to their favor, get all the sympathy from as many people as they can, publicize it… Read more »
warren
Guest

kahit kampi tayo di mo pa rin nararanasang maging kadete sa loob. so don’t say anything.

killem
Guest

Ang problema kasi e pag yun “Honor Committee” na ang nagsinungaling? Sabi nila unanimous vote, pero yun pala 8-1 yun voting before “the chambers incident” na hindi parte ng kanilang rules and not even reflected in the minutes of the meeting.

Yun hindi pagrecord sa minutes, dun pa lang makikita mo na intention na mag “hocus pokus”.

Kung si Cudia ay na dismiss dahil sa pagsisinungaling, mas lalo dapat ma dismiss ang lahat ng na nasa “Honor Committee” dahil sa lantaran pagbabalewala sa kanila mismong batas at pagsisinungaling na “unanimous” vote daw.

sources: http://www.rappler.com/nation/53003-cudia-new-evidence-pma

joeld
Guest
The thing with the pinoy is they all like to twist things to their favor, get all the sympathy from as many people as they can, publicize it on the media, be noisy as much as possible. “Basta makakalusot”. These, to me, is just so unmilitary. In Cudia’s case, he must have known long before entering the academy about its military culture and how things are going to be once he is in it. And now he cries foul. This is one of those times why the military has a code of silence. “If you do not like the heat,… Read more »
Jena Isle
Guest

The Honor Committee(?)who voted should also be investigated if this allegation is true. Parang selective yata. And don’t act like you know everything, parang si Valedictorian na talking down on people na porque di raw alam ang honor code. It might surprise you to learn that hindi lang ikaw ang matalino (kuno) dito sa mundo. Give civilians some respect and credit. Hindi lang kayo ang nakakaintindi.

Arvee
Guest

You cannot blame the Honor Committee because there were 3 other cadets that were reported for being late along with Cudia… And only Cudia has a different explanation to save his class standing rather than accept demerits and punishment “tours”… Mukhang maliit na pagkakamali pero sa military it would mean the lives of his men or the lives of innocent civilians… In the military, soldiers must give up some of their basic rights and submit to a law of perpetual constraints so they may serve their motherland with all their lives…that is chivalry!

nobody
Guest

Its easy to write an article that merely says that rules are rules and should be followed. It is harder to to write an article on whether policies and rules are effective and should be revised. I expected more from reading this.

I still think the honor committee’s logic in ruling cudia’s case is bullsh*t. Nonetheless, Cudia would not have lasted a day in service even if he did graduate. Parang gang mentality eh. Let us just hope cudia and the PMA will be better off with this decision.

Battle Captain
Guest

Military Professionalism

Men who adopt the profession of arms
submit their own free will
to a law of perpetual constraints
of their own accord.

They resist their right
to live where they choose,
to say what they think,
to dress as they like.

It needs but an order
to settle them from their families
and dislocate their normal lives.

In the world of commands,
they must rise, march,
run, endure bad weather,
and go out without sleep or food,
be isolated in some distant post,
work until they drop.

They have ceased to become
masters of their own fate.

If they drop on their tracks,
their ashes shall be scattered
in the four winds,
that is all part and parcel of their job.

-CDG

Hyden Toro
Guest

It’s not Cadet Cudia, that social media is pointing at, in blogs. It’s the way these Cadets change into dishonest, lying people or politicians. Once, they go to civilian life, or turn out to be politician; or are in the higher ranks..Duty, Honor, and Country…or Honor, Courage, Loyalty…must be the guiding principles in their lives…It is sad that those principles are only followed during their duration of being Cadets. The military being used by Politicians to stay in power. Inspite of the politician’s attacks on the Philippine constitution, and the rights of ithe Filipino people…

Thomas Jefferson
Guest
I say the honor code is an extinct dinosaur that can be used and abused by ruthless, abusive individuals. The honor code should give way to the rule of law, substantive and procedural due process, the presumption of innocence, justice and fair play. The honor code is a hard and fast rule that does not recognize a fair trial. In this context, the PMA should adopt cadet officer court martial procedure/proceedings to deal with internal rules of discipline, administrative violations and criminal liability. A JAGO team should be installed in the PMA to conduct and teach cadet officer court martial… Read more »
Alex
Guest

Well said article sir. I salute the author. Honorable and a gentleman to admit he once believe otherwise.

Allan Gasataya
Guest
The Honor Code is not based on the rule of law. It is an agreement among cadets, that’s why it is practiced and executed by cadets themselves. And since it is only among cadets, those who violate are given a choice; to resign or to take the consequence (be ostracized); this is so since cadets cannot dismiss another cadet. However, a change has occurred between 2006-2008 in which the PMA started to have a hand in the ruling and cadets found guilty are now dismissed. This is part of the reason why Cudia’s case went out of hand. Had it… Read more »
Thomas Jefferson
Guest
@Allan Gasataya Exactly my point Allan. You said: “The honor code is not based on the rule of law.” But you must remember that the rule of law is an underlying principle of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Ours is not a rule of men but a rule of law. Cadets are not only bound by the rule of law… They are also bound by due process(i.e. Bill of Rights), the presumption of innocence, fair play in a fair trial. The present honor code is nothing more than a rule of men. It is a hard and fast rule which can… Read more »
Issa Chubs
Guest
As far as i know,, “hugot sa hangin” (imbento) lang ni anavee yung 8-1 unanimous decision na yan. Anavee is an ex-kg (kaydet girl) kaya naman nagmamarunong at nagmama alam sya. Without knowing and realizing na yung kapatid na nya ang napapahamak at nasisira dahil kagagawan nya. Mas mqganda sana kung nanahimik nalang sya. Tignan mo tuloy, nairita si Pnoy sakanya, nasabihan tuloy sya ng “hindi kita kinakausap” .. ang masama nito inirapan nya si Pnoy. Umaatittude si ate. Pakielamera kasi. Tapos may tv guestings pa sya. Anu na ginawa nya? Puro nalang kahihiyan yung ginawa nya. Masyado nya isina-publiko… Read more »
Pio Goco
Guest
Look, the student spent 4 years there. He knows the rules and the codes. Do you really think that a 2 minute tardiness violation with a white lie constitutes such a major violation so much so that he is not allowed to graduate? Yes punish him. Give the student 500 push ups, heavy boot camp, a strongly worded reprimand for his white lie, perhaps even a demotion of rank and demerits to humiliate him publicly in front of his fellow Mistah’s. Perhaps even suspend him but don’t deny him what he worked so hard to achieve. What we want is… Read more »
joeld
Guest
The simplest way I can put it is this: if you try to join a club, let’s say, a car club, they have a set of rules which, if ever you want to be member of the said club, you must follow. The PMA in this case has that set of rules which, should also be followed to the letter, being military and all. The difference would be if that school/academy are training people to decide regarding winning a contract as opposed to deciding if you ever want to risk the lives of your men in the field. It is… Read more »
pj
Guest
Graduated lahat ng punishment sa loob. commensurate to the offense…But Honor violation is totally different, it’s dismissal…Cadet Cudia knows that from day one. napaka unfair kung tignan mo sa labas, pero kung naranasan mo pano binago ang buhay at galaw mo sa loob dahil sa systema at kung ano ang kahalagahan nito sa pagiging sundalo, you would say tama lang at kailangan dapat. i knew a certain cadet who took 1 Peso coin on a table of another, he wanted to make an outside call on a pay phone. he got tried later at midnight and the following day, early… Read more »
Dirch
Guest

The morons at EDSA dos? c’mon. It was not only that the educated didn’t like having Erap as their president, It’s the stupid impeachment procedure that can be circumvented by such stupid acts like ‘voting not to open a friggin envelope’ that they cannot accept. A few questions for the author, Do you honestly believe that Erap did not receive any kickbacks from jueteng? and Do you believe that without EDSA dos, the impeachment procedure will eventually decide on removing Erap as president?

Janna
Guest

You don’t know the ways of the Honor Committee. You were not even there when they voted 8-1 or unanimously. Why accuse base on hearsays? Straighten your facts first before airing your rants.
http://rangercabunzky.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-current-pma-honor-system.html

Thomas Jefferson
Guest
@Janna I never liked star chambers that can promote abuses of power and gross injustice. Read what I said about what it should be. I say abolish the honor committee in favor of a cadet officer court martial proceedings. A fair trial under the rule of law(Military Justice System}, due process and the Bill of Rights. Ours is a rule of law and not of men. When a group of people take it upon themselves to judge others without a rule of order known as the law then abuses, injustice, partiality, pre-judgement, trial by publicity and even harsh punishment can… Read more »
Mabangis
Guest

I know one cadet who put some of the perfume of her room mate but did not get the bottle, she was tried of stealing and found guilty, also from top ten of the graduating class.

Jojo
Guest
Friends, let us not bash the Honor Code that they have at the Academy, it is theirs alone and it has been there since the creation of the Academy. The Honor Code is not something evil, it is there to instill and inculcate integrity in the cadets. Honesty, honor, integrity can never have a gray area. It is either you lied or not, stolen or not, cheated or not and tolerated or not, nothing in between. It does not promote dysfunction because it shapes a culture of trust. It is not out of times because honesty/honor/integrity can never be outdated,… Read more »
Thomas Jefferson
Guest
“Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die…” “Obey first before you complain…” Bullshit! The extinct dinosaur of the star chamber honor committee and their commissioned officer supporters conveniently forgot that we are a free democracy under a rule of law. We are governed by the Philippine Constitution. As such we should recognize rights guaranteed by the fundamental law and international law. Military absolute expediency in even ignoring reason and blind obedience to issued commands is the way of fools. The thinking soldier as a leader and a follower knows the difference. To the cadets… Read more »
Kenneth
Guest
Common people never realize the importance of the Honor Code. Because outside an institution where only the rule of law is followed, you can apply the Honor Code during certain situations. Unlike the Military, they have not experience extreme situations where you are to choose to live but let your comrades die, or you have to die, and let you comrades live. We are Filipinos, we are from the bloodline of the brave and the gallant. Our history are shaped by wars with oppressors. The KKK during the Spanish Era, would have not been successful if they do not follow… Read more »
Danilo E. Racho
Guest

Try to look at it in a bigger picture.outside the box.A message was sent to every Filipino.Everyone of us should be honest.Everything we do,we should be responsible of our actions for the betterment of our country.Sad to see that in this means, this is the way the message be relayed.A sample in military, and that Mr.Cudia was the one being sampled.

Carlo
Guest
Good god. For the longest time I thought I was going crazy after seeing wave after wave of zerglings joining the bandwagon of wanting to apply their day to day morals on the Honor Code that most people do not understand. I, for one, am not part of the military but I do understand that if you join an institution, or even group, with a set of rules, you follow them or face the consequences. He was found guilty of lying by the committee, that’s it. Delete that statement; he was late and gave an excuse. Semantics? Really? The difference… Read more »