Cadet 1st Class Jefferson Yamson Salazar of Zamboanga City ranks third in the Philippine Military Academy Masidlawin class of 2020.
PMA Class 2020 3rd placer is son of 4Ps beneficiary couple in Zamboanga
Roel Pareño ( - May 22, 2020 - 4:29pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — A son of a tricycle driver and ambulant snack vendor gave another honor to his home city after he graduated Friday as third place of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Masidlawin" class 2020.

Jefferson Yamson Salazar, who marched along with the 194 "mistahs", has taken his pride from their humble beginning and showed economic challenges is not a hindrance to education.

The proud parents of Jefferson expressed their gratitude on their son’s determination which he hurdled from the premiere military academy as one of the topnotchers.

“Masaya kami at nagtagumpay siya sa kanyang ambisyon (We are happy that he fulfilled his ambition),” Jose and Marites Salazar told newsmen from their home.

According to Jose, their son has dreamt of joining the PMA even when he was still young while observing their living condition.

It also strengthened his ambition was also following the infamous 2013 Zamboanga siege where his village was badly affected from the 23 days hostility after the faction of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari attempted to occupy the city.

The lives of the Salazars symbolized the typical poor family living in a 16-square meter two-story house with sawali walling sitting in a slum area of Barangay Sta. Catalina, one of the five villages that was devastated by the war.

Even before Jefferson landed in the PMA, his parents were already beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to support a family with Jefferson as the fourth in seven siblings.

His father, Jose, is a tricycle driver while his mother Marites sells snacks to neighbors for a living.

Marites described her son as brilliant being a civil service passer and scholar of the Department of Science and Technology as a college student of Western Mindanao State University taking Bachelor of Science in Physics.

She said her son loved to read books and would do a lot of self-study at home.

“Jefferson no long brings any notebook or paper because he said he already have in mind all the lessons. He really likes to read and do self-study,” Marites said.

Jefferson was also awarded the Secretary of National Defense Saber, the Philippine Navy Saber, the Australian Defense Best Over-all Performance Award and the Mathematics Plaque.

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