Duterte urges PMA grads: Be ‘protectors,’ ‘instruments of change’

Published March 20, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Fred M. Lobo
Fred M. Lobo

By Fred M. Lobo

 

Serve as “protectors of our nation” and “instruments of meaningful change,” President Duterte has urged new graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Serve God, country, and people, not drug lords, vice lords, or political warlords.

***

Speaking at the PMA 2018 commencement rites in Baguio City, the President said the new military officers should embody the traditional values required of true soldiers.

Have “courage, integrity, and loyalty,” the Commander-in-chief stressed.

***

Duterte said that consistent with service to God, country, and people,

young soldiers should “stay with the Constitution, stay in the chain of command, love the Filipino people that you serve.”

Translation: Don’t think of coup or collections.

***

“To the ‘Alab Tala’ Class of 2018, this achievement is only the beginning of the many future successes. May you continue to become a source of strength and inspiration to your fellow soldiers and instruments of meaningful change in our society,” Duterte said.

Be role models and agents of change.

***

“The Filipino people look up to you as the protectors of our nation and the next leaders of tomorrow,” the President reminded the 282-strong PMA graduating class that included 75 female cadets.

Translation: Be protectors, not oppressors of the people.

***

Brace also for “complex” and “bigger challenges” ahead as you start to serve in your chosen military branch of service, Duterte said.

Be ready to combat terrorism and illegal drug trade, he added.

***

The President said mistakes would always be “inevitable” but PMA graduates should have confidence in knowing they were honed by the academy for bigger responsibilities

“(Have) discipline, determination, and faith,” Duterte said.

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“Remember always the three words that have been ingrained deeply in your hearts — courage, integrity, and loyalty,” the President said.

“Embody these words and use them to guide your actions throughout your careers,” he stressed.

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Duterte acknowledged that the PMA graduates’ courage and bravery were tested many times while under training.

“You have emerged victorious and ready to take on bigger challenges ahead,” he said.

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The President has assured the government’s support for the military, from increasing salary and allowance to upgrading their equipment and improving their benefits. “The Armed Forces of the Philippines has the government’s full support,” he said.

Chorus: Thank you, Godfather DU30.

***

Duterte added that the Second Horizon of the Revised AFP Modernization Program” is now being implemented “to ensure that our men and women in uniform are provided the benefits and armed with the equipment to perform their duties effectively.”

Here come guns, bullets, and perks – and a better deal for the country’s soldiers.

 
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