BAGUIO CITY—The nation’s salvation rests in the hands of the next generation of Filipino leaders who must take part in correcting the society’s ills, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said Sunday as he graced the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) commencement exercises here.
“In every country’s history, every generation of Filipino leaders and movers lies where our salvation and rests. You, the Bagsik Diwa Class 2022 belong to that generation,” President Duterte told the graduating members of the PMA “Bagsik Diwa” Class.
“In every country’s history, every generation has a role to play and a mission to fulfill. The challenge has been said.”
The President, who delivered his last commencement address as the armed forces’ commander-in-chief, also told the graduates that his administration was constrained to adopt extreme legal measures to fight society’s ills, admitting, however, that although it made inroads after six years, the country is still facing multiple challenges.
“Corruption, red tape, and illegal drugs, and crime and criminalities are the wrongs that we need to correct,” he said.
The chief executive also pointed out the need for soldiers to adapt to the changing times to stay relevant. Members of the security forces, he said, must play multiple roles, becoming both a warrior and a peacemaker; a skilled war strategist and a lifesaver; and a soldier and a civil servant.
He expressed confidence, however, that the graduates could successfully serve those roles, saying the PMA has sufficiently prepared them for all possibilities and eventualities.
“The eyes of the Filipino people are upon you. Always remain true to your oath. By your actuations in public, the Philippine Military Academy, shall be judged. You are the face of your alma mater,” he said.
The President extended his congratulations to the 214-strong male and female graduating cadets of the PMA Bagsik Diwa Class, and also honored their parents.
Joining President Duterte were Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo,
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs Arthur Tabaquero, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centeno.
Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas, Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner, Philippine Air Force Commanding General Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas Sr., Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Adeluis Bordado, PNP OIC Chief Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu, PMA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Ferdinand Cartujano, and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong also attended the event. PND