The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of Cadet First Class Jeff Aldrin Cudia from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), citing the institution’s academic freedom, which includes the power to dismiss or expel students who violate disciplinary rules.
“The court, through Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, denied the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with application for extremely urgent temporary restraining order,” Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te said in a statement.
“The dismissal of Cadet First Class Jeff Aldrin Cudia from the Philippine Military Academy is hereby affirmed. No costs,” he added.
Cudia was dismissed from the academy for allegedly violating the PMA’s honor code by lying about the reason for his two-minute tardiness in class.
The high court said Cudia violated the PMA Honor Code by “quibbling,” which constitutes “lying.”
The Supreme Court defined “quibbling” as a situation where the person creates a false impression in the mind of his listener by cleverly wording what he says, omitting relevant facts, or telling a partial truth.
“When this is done with the intent to deceive or mislead, he is quibbling; and because it is an intentional deception, quibbling is a form of lying,” the Supreme Court said.
Cudia defended his tardiness by telling his superiors that he was dismissed late in a previous class.
The high court, however, said Cudia was “quibbling” when he used the words “dismiss” and “class” since he was aware that “by no stretch of the imagination can four cadets constitute a ‘class.'”
He “cunningly chose words which led to confusion,” which is not a just a “matter of semantics and a product of plain and simple inaccuracy,” but a “manipulation of facts and presentation of untruthful explanation constitutive of an Honor Code violation,” the Supreme Court said.
The high court also said the PMA findings underwent due process.
Cudia was dismissed from the academy days before last year’s graduation rites. He was supposed to graduate with honors.