By Francis Wakefield
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., Tuesday asked politicians and fellow Cavaliers who will run in the mid-term elections to not use this Saturday’s (February 16) Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alumni Homecoming as an occasion for them to campaign.
Madrigal made the reminder during an interview at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
He said PMA classes who have adopted in their respective classes politicians as honorary members and fellow Cavaliers who will be running in May 13, 2019, mid-term elections should refrain from campaigning and not to politicize the activity.
Madrigal said as far as he knows the PMA Alumni Association Inc. (PMAAAI) have already made pronouncements about the restriction to prevent politicking in the event.
“Meron na ring pronouncement ang PMAAAI board sa bagay na ito [about this matter] that, to keep the ground sacred,” Madrigal said.
“The alumni activity as much as possible pinapaki-usapan iyung mga ano, na walang, [we are asking them] no campaigning specially while they are in the hallowed grounds of the PMA,” he added.
Among the notable politicians who are honorary members of PMA classes running in the mid-term elections are former Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II of the Liberal Party, Maharlika Class of 1984; Senator Grace Poe, Sambigkis Class of 1991; former Senator and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Tanglaw Diwa Class of 1992; and Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Hinirang Class of 1987.
Among the Cavaliers who are running in the mid-term elections are Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano, Marilag Class of 1995 and former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato” Dela Rosa, Sinagtala Class of 1986.
Meanwhile, PMAAAI President and former Army Chief Jaime delos Santos said about 2,000 Cavaliers are expected to participate in this Saturday’s homecoming.
He said with regards to politicians who are honorary members of PMA classes, they are also not allowed to participate in the parade and pass and review at Borromeo Field, which is considered as a hallowed ground for them.
“Unang-una sa parada, hindi puedeng mag-participate sa pass and review ung mga hindi alumni. so ung mga alumni, grads ng PMA, iyun lang ang pedeng bumaba para sumali sa pass and review [First and foremost in the parade, those who are not alumni are not allowed to participate in the pass and review. So the alumni grads of PMA, they are the only ones allowed to go down and participate in the pass and review,” delos Santos, who is a member of PMA Class 1969, said.
“Ngayon, dahil (Now, because) PMA is a public place, if there is a visitor then they can watch the parade from the grandstand,” he added.