President Duterte salutes the graduates of the Philippine Military Academy ‘Masidlawin’ Class of 2020 and the Philippine National Police Academy ‘Mandayug’ Class of 2020 during simultaneous commencement exercises video streamed at Malacañang the other day.
Duterte to PMA, PNPA grads: Love your country
Christina Mendez, Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has urged new graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) to be loyal to the flag and the Constitution as they embark on the life they have promised to pursue – to protect and serve the people.

“For after all, your Magna Carta… is the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. Remain true to that sacred document and remain as ever loyal to the Filipino flag,” the President said Friday in his address at virtual commencement exercises of the PMA’s Masidlawin Class and the PNPA’s Mandayug Class of 2020.

With the country and the rest of the world still reeling from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the President had to fulfill his official engagements through virtual conferencing.

The President’s virtual address was beamed live to PMA at Camp del Pilar in Baguio City and to PNPA at Camp Castañeda in Silang, Cavite City.

The Chief Executive also challenged the graduates to adapt to changes while remaining faithful to the values instilled in them by their schools.

Values such as love of country, honesty, integrity, concern for the poor and the needy, as well as adherence to the rule of law make a humane society and a progressive nation, he said.

“We can change in a changing world and yet cling to the unchanging values of life,” Duterte said.

“I suppose that all of you are imbued with these values. After all, that is what your alma mater prepared (you for). Let it not be said by anyone later (that) in the conduct of your affairs and performance of your duty, you failed your alma mater and wasted the efforts of your mentors. Heaven forbid. Sana huwag naman (I hope not),” the President told the graduates.

“Keep that in mind always. The eyes of the Filipino, your fellow alumni and your alma mater are upon you wherever you may be. By your conduct, your alma mater shall be judged. So also shall your fellow alumni be similarly treated.”

Also in his address, President Duterte said the country is confronting “troubled, dangerous and abnormal times” as it struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“There is no aspect of human life that is not affected by this terrible curse that lurks at every corner and every turn of every space where people meet or converge,” he said.

He warned the people to brace for the long haul but assured them that his administration would take measures to alleviate their hardship as the world seeks a vaccine or cure for the disease.

The government has been taking “measures to alleviate or mitigate the hardship wrought upon us and raise our hopes that sooner (than) later the cure (that) will set us free from COVID-19 shall be made available to all of us,” the President added.

House and lot incentive

Duterte also announced that he is awarding PMA Cadette 1st Class Gemalyn Deocares Sugui and PNPA Cadette First Class Lei Anne Palermo – class valedictorians – separate house and lot packages worth P2 million each from Vistaland led by businessman and former Senate President Manuel Villar.

The President gifted the class goats with handguns.

Duterte lauded the graduates for their “patience, perseverance and resiliency,” which are “the crying needs of the moment.”

Reading from a prepared speech, he said, “Let me now extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes for all of you who are graduating this day. I give you my salute. Napakahusay ninyo. Hurdling both police and being a soldier requires everything,” Duterte added.

Duterte also reminded the graduates to be grateful for the sacrifices of their parents during their four-year stint in the academy.  “All of you owe your parents so much. That is why I consider this special day as theirs as much as it is yours.

“All of you owe your parents so much and that is why I said you should be – I am sure you will find a way to be together even at a distance just to shorten the space. As it is mandated by law, we cannot do anything,” he said.

“That is why, as you hand over your diplomas, medals or plaques to your parents as a sign of respect and filial piety, express to them in the manner you deem most appropriate, your lasting gratitude. They deserve the accolade. And I also applaud them,” Duterte said.

The graduates include 196 cadets from the PMA and 252 from the PNPA.

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