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No parents allowed in PMA virtual graduation rites
In this May 26, 2019 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte salutes the graduates of the Philippine Military Academy ‘Mabalasik’ Class of 2019 as they form the “Long Gray Line” during the commencement exercises at Fort General Gregorio Del Pilar in Baguio City.
Presidential Photo/Yancy Lim

No parents allowed in PMA virtual graduation rites

Artemio Dumlao (Philstar.com) - May 14, 2020 - 3:35pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Members of the Philippine Military Academy graduating class of 2020 will receive their diplomas without their parents and their loved ones on May 22.

Not even the commander-in-chief, President Rodrigo Duterte, is sure to award outstanding PMA graduates and declare them second lieutenants or ensigns.

There is nothing final yet on who will be the guest of honor and speaker, said PMA spokesperson Captain Cherryl Tindog. 

Normally, the president as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines awards the Presidential Saber to the class topnotcher while the vice president awards the Vice President’s Saber to the number two graduating cadet. The commanders of the major service commands—Army,  Air Force and Navy—award the Major Service Sabers to graduates topping the respective courses. 

But not even major service commanders are sure to be present on the graduation rites of the members of MASIDLAWIN class of 2020 (Mandirigmang Isinilang ng may Dangal at Lakas Upang Maging Tanglaw ng Inang Bayan), added Tindol.

The graduation rites though will be livestreamed via the PMA’s official facebook page.

Journalists are also not allowed to cover the yearly event, the PMA advised. Even the presentation of the top 10 graduates and awardees on May 20 will be virtual as members of the media were already asked Thursday to send their initial questions to the topnotchers and other awardees via SMS/ Viber and they will be answered by the topnotchers and other awardees on camera.

Tindog noted that PMA (Fort del Pilar), which shut down its doors from tourists and the public on March 16, remains closed and follows strict measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease within the academy and the community.

The Commission on Higher Education earlier encouraged higher education institutions to use alternative graduation ceremonies as mass gatherings are prohibited under quarantine rules.

Baguio City, which has been under enhanced community quarantine, will be under general community quarantine starting May 16 along with other areas in the country considered as moderate- and low-risk. Only Metro Manila, Laguna and Cebu City, which were identified as high-risk, will be under modified ECQ.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY
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