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Duterte guest of honor at PMA alumni homecoming

/ 09:57 AM February 14, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte will be the guest of honor at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni homecoming in Baguio City later this week.

The President is an adopted member of PMA “Dimasupil” Class of 1967, which will be on its 50th year this 2017. The PMA is the country’s premier military school.

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Duterte was adopted by the PMA Class of 1967 in 1994, when he was a mayor of Davao City for his support to PMA graduates assigned there, PMA Alumni Association Inc. (PMAAAI) Chairman Anselmo Avenido told INQUIRER.net.

This year’s hosts at the homecoming are the PMA classes that end in “2” and “7.”

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The President will also be formally adopted on Saturday’s event as an honorary member of the PMAAAI, which is accorded only to selected honorary members “with notable track record of service and contributions to society.”

Avenido said adopting Duterte as an honorary member of the PMAAAI was more because of his “long and harmonious relationship with PMA alumni” rather than “political considerations.”

PMA graduates, foreign students who took service training and associate members of the academy are automatically considered members of the PMAAAI. It is a tradition of PMA classes to adopt politicians as honorary members, despite claims of being non-partisan. To be an honorary member of the PMAAAI, however, requires a different selection process.

Avenido said the PMAAAI membership to honorary members is highly selective due to its “stringent requirements.”

PMA spokesperson Lt. Col. Rey Balido, meanwhile, said that the presence of Duterte for Saturday’s event has already been confirmed by his staff.

It will be the first time that the President will set foot at the PMA grounds since he was elected last year. He will also be the first President to attend the alumni homecoming after more than a decade.

BACKSTORY: Presidential bets miss PMA homecoming

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Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the last President to attend the PMA Alumni Homecoming in 2004, when she also served as guest of honor. She is an adopted member of the PMA “Makatarungan” Class of 1978.

Around 5,000 alumni and their families are expected to attend the event, Balido said. IDL

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TAGS: Anselmo Avenido, Philippine Military Academy, PMA, PMA Alumni Association Inc., PMA Alumni Homecoming, PMAAAI, Rodrigo Duterte
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