BAGUIO CITY— President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday, May 26, led the commencement exercises of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), telling the young military officers to do their job well protecting the motherland and to sacrifice their lives if the situation calls for it.
“Serve your country well. Die for your country if it needs be. Remember the young Filipinos yet to come, the children and those who are now studying. Huwag mong kalimutan ‘yan,” President Duterte told PMA’s Mabalasik Class 2019 during the commencement rites at Fort General Gregorio Del Pilar, Baguio City.
“And if you think that the country is not run the way it is and if it will destroy your country, you should know what to do,” he said.
The President instructed the PMA graduates to always remain faithful to their mission, to be a good soldier serving the Constitution, and to protect the people. They must also secure the country’s sovereignty and preserve the integrity of its national territory.
Bravery and loyalty must be the guiding principles for military officers, he stressed.
“I urge you…always embody courage and loyalty as you pursue your noble careers in the military. Let these values be your beacon until your last taps are sung and your perpetual memory would be to see your country truly free,” he said.
Also, he expressed confidence that with the PMA Mabalasik Class behind him, he can effectively build the foundations of a better, safer, and more peaceful life for all Filipinos.
As the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces, President Duterte said he wants the young officers to instill in themselves the traits of being humble, teachable, grateful, and the ability to look at each other’s back.
Today’s security landscape has changed drastically, the Chief Executive told the cadets. Security is no longer just about arms and equipment, he noted, adding that at this time, complex and irrational state and non-state actors may even pose danger to the country.
The PMA Mabalasik Class of 2019 is composed of 261 cadets, 188 male and 73 females. Dionne Mae Apolog Umalla, a female cadet, is the class valedictorian.
Also during the commencement exercises, President Duterte issued pardon to all outstanding punishments for the underclassmen 2CL, 3CL, and 4CL of the Cadet Corps as recommended by the PMA superintendent. PND