Isabela female cadet tops graduating PMA Masidlawin Class of 2020
BAGUIO CITY — A female cadet from Echague, Isabela, who earned an economics degree from the University of the Philippines – Baguio, has topped the Philippine Military Academy Masidlawin Class of 2020 which will graduate in simple afternoon rites on Friday (May 22) amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Cadet First Class Gemalyn Sugui, the 25-year-old daughter of a farmer and a public school teacher, will be commissioned as a junior officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines along with 195 other graduates.
Sugui and the rest of the Corps of Cadets have been locked inside Fort del Pilar since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Sugui will join the Philippine Army along with 99 of her classmates, while 45 Masidlawin members will become part of the Philippine Air Force. The remaining 51 members of the lass will join the Philippine Navy.
They will march in a sparsely attended ceremony without their parents who were not allowed to proceed to Baguio City due to travel restrictions .
After graduation, they would be deployed to help the country deal with the pandemic.
Cadet First Class Jade Villanueva from Tacloban City ranked second among Masidlawin’s top ten cadets, followed by Cadet First Class Jefferson Salazar from Zamboanga City.
Ifugao’s Cadet First Class Rotes Gaile Jamandre ranked fourth, followed by Cadet First Class Jeb Bay-an of La Trinidad, Benguet (5th) Kalinga-born Cadet First Class Catabay Ladyong (6th), Cadet First Class Vanelyn Angel Tabao of Tuguegarao City (7th) Cadet First Class June Giel Anne Factor from Piddig, Ilocos Norte (8th), Cadet First Class Rubenson Abgao of Baroy town in Lanao del Norte (9th) and Cadet First Class Dencel Aina Bayaca of Floridablanca, Pampanga (10th).
Baguio is currently under a General Community Quarantine, but has been strict about border entry with 31 recorded cases of COVID-19 infections since the lockdown began.
Vice Admiral Allan Ferdinand Cusi, PMA Superintendent, said he had personally congratulated the parents of all 196 graduating cadets who could not participate in the commencement exercise.
“I believe this is a necessary decision in order to safeguard the health and general well-being of the CCAFP and the whole PMA community. As a parent, I know how heartbreaking and disappointing that decision is, but we have to do what is best for all. Safety and health are paramount at all times,” he said in a statement.
“We assured them, however, that the graduating Class of 2020 will be rendered a meaningful recognition of their graduation. I believe we owe it to the graduating class to exhaust all efforts in our decision-making and planning process to make this time special for them, albeit under the guidelines set by the government in addressing the COVID-19 crisis to ensure the safety, well-being and health of all our cadets and the whole PMA community,” Cusi said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.