Jeff Aldrin Cudia, a former Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet who was dismissed for violating the institution’s so-called “Honor Code,” is one of the passers of this year’s University of the Philippines’ Law Aptitude Exam (LAE).
Knowing how difficult it is to gain admission to the UP College of Law, why should Cudia not take advantage of this opportunity that he rightfully earned? However, his academic status is very complicated at the moment.
Cudia gained widespread sympathy from Filipinos after it was revealed on the national media that he was dismissed from the PMA merely six days before his graduation because of lying, a capital offense in the academy’s “Honor Code.” You can read more about PMA’s Honor Code here.
The whole story began when Cudia arrived two minutes in one of his classes. He explained that he was late because his professor in the preceding class dismissed them late. Unfortunately, his statement was technically inaccurate. As reported in Rappler.com last year, Cudia’s class was dismissed on time “but the professor asked them to wait because he was going to give them something.”
Because of this universally-perceived petty infraction, Cudia was removed from the roster of PMA graduates for 2014. What made his case all the more tragic is that he’s supposed to be the batch’s salutatorian.
While Cudia and his family has apparently already conceded that having a career in the Philippine Navy is not anymore possible, they have urged PMA to reconsider his dismissal just so he can have his diploma. Backed by the Public Attorneys Office and the Commission on Human Rights, the Cudia family sent their case to the Supreme Court.
The High Court however affirmed his dismissal from the PMA in a unanimous ruling last February. While his camp led by lawyer Berteni Causing was able to file a motion for reconsideration, it is extremely unlikely for seven or eight justices to suddenly change their minds.
According to an announcement, successful LAE takers must submit a letter-of-intent to enroll at the UP College of Law’s Office of the College Secretary and pay a reservation fee of P5,000.00 at the University Cashier’s Office not later than April 24, 2015.
Keep in mind that UP Law implements a “no deferment” policy. This means that if a successful examinee fails to enroll in the first semester (in this case, this will be on August 2015) for whatever reason, he/she will have to take the LAE again.
In other words, Cudia’s successful take of the UP LAE will not mean much unless he is able to get his diploma from the PMA within the next two weeks. Or, if the UP College of Law relaxes its own requirements for new students.