Duterte to PMA, PNPA grads: Remain true to Constitution, loyal to PH flag
MANILA, Philippines — Remain true to the Constitution and loyal to the Philippine flag.
This was the challenge posed by President Rodrigo Duterte to graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Masidlawin Class and Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Mandayug Class of 2020 during concurrent rites on Friday evening.
For the first time, the President on Friday addressed both institutions simultaneously and delivered his speech via teleconferencing from Malacañang.
“If those who are tasked with the maintenance of peace and order and the protection of public and private property do not do their mandate, or worse commit what that is which they are called upon to prevent or guard against, again I said the question be: What then?” Duterte said in his speech.
“Sinong tutulong [sa] bayan (Who will help the country)? Who will carry the liberty? Who will carry our independence? Who will carry the constitutional duty of due process, fair play? These are things which you have to worry, for, after all, your Magna Carta and for all of us is the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. “
“Remain true to that sacred document and remain as ever loyal to the Filipino flag. Graduates that are both a question and a challenge that begs a response. Your response. Think it over, you have all the time to do that,” he added.
PMA and PNPA held their graduation rites in Baguio City and Cavite, respectively.
The graduates were not joined by their parents during the commencement exercises as part of the new normal brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Despite this, the President told graduates: “Let not COVID-19 dampen the joy and the pride that must be yours after going through grueling years of study and rigorous training within the classroom walls and the perimeters of the parade grounds of your alma mater.”
“Believe me when I say that prouder still are your parents and loved ones because what you have become indeed, resplendent in your uniforms in your paragons of manhood with all its connotations, officers and gentlemen,” he further said.
Also during his speech, Duterte expressed hope that a cure for the virus will soon be discovered while recognizing it may not be near.
“In direness of occasion, every human activity, economic, financial, or elsewise, has been affected. Sadly, its end appears to be man’s and man’s away still,” he said.
“In the meantime, we can take measures to alleviate or mitigate the hardships wrought upon us and raise our hopes that sooner or later the cure will set us free from COVID-19, which shall be made available to all of us,” he added.
Both PMA and PNPA graduates for 2020 are led by women — Cadet First Class Gemalyn Sugui and Cadet Lei Anne Palermo, respectively. The President awarded them each with a house and lot.
PMA’s Masidlawin Class is composed of 196 cadets while PNPA’s Mandayug Class is composed of 252 cadets.
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