Pols kept out of PMA alumni rites | Inquirer News

Pols kept out of PMA alumni rites

But graduates running in May polls allowed to join homecoming
/ 02:00 AM February 15, 2016

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City—Only candidates who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) would be allowed to march alongside their “mistah” (classmates) at this year’s alumni homecoming on Feb. 20, according to the academy’s new superintendent.

But Maj. Gen. Donato San Juan II, who was installed as the new superintendent by Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri in a ceremony here on Saturday, was silent about candidates who are adopted members of PMA classes.

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Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas is an adopted member of PMA “Maharlika” Class of 1984 and has been joining the homecoming activities.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, another presidential candidate, is an adopted member of PMA “Maringal” Class of 1988, while another presidential bet, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, is an adopted member of PMA Class of 1969.

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Presidential survey leader Sen. Grace Poe was considered for adoption late last year by PMA “Sambisig” Class of 1991.

“One revelation I read… I think it’s been announced [that] only graduates will join the parade,” said San Juan when asked about the homecoming’s policy on political campaigns. San Juan is a member of PMA Class 1984.

He said these are regulations being enforced by the PMA Alumni Association (PMAAA), not the academy. Other PMA officials said they were not provided details about the next week’s homecoming.

But in past homecoming parades that took place on election years, PMAAA had not allowed political campaign posters or colors from being displayed at the annual event that drew hundreds of active and retired military and police officials.

The policy was instituted when some retired members of the uniformed services entered politics, said an alumnus, who asked not to be named because he was not been authorized to speak about the event.

The Constitution shields the military from political interference. Article 16, Section 5, of the Charter states: “The Armed Forces shall be insulated from partisan politics. No member of the military shall engage directly or indirectly in any partisan political activity, except to vote.”

“Every year [during homecomings] we troop back here to… reflect on the glorious past… and the concerns of the [AFP],” Iriberri said in his speech on Saturday.

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This was echoed by San Juan, who said he had been joining the homecoming “to reflect and renew my commitment to the ideals the academy has inculcated.”

The PMA corps of cadets also honored outgoing PMA superintendent, Maj. Gen. Oscar Lopez, a member of PMA “Dimalupig” Class of 1981. Vincent Cabreza and EV Espiritu, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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TAGS: alumni rites, candidates, Elections, homecoming, Philippine Military Academy, PMA
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